tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 19, 2013 8:00pm-1:00am EST
happens in canada-u.s. relations. we tend to view a whole thing through a natural lens. there's so much muscle memory in the relationship that goes beyond this particular one project. in the days of the in the days of the lumbar wars, there was obsession with lumber. the truth of the matter is, the relationship is pretty good. it is pretty gigantic. i think there are opportunities that we can look at. canada and the united states are both looking at how we do business in asia. if the fda was abiding and nasa was a honeymoon, we might have a second honeymoon. it is all the needs of upgrading. it might be the way to do that. there might be ways to get some
procurement deals. i didn't that there is a lot more to the relationship, including the way we deal with the relationship with the rest of the world. we have not talked about everything else we do around the world together in some of the troubled spots. there are real values that we share. >> in the context, we in canada -- there is a need to be a closer relationship between the prime minister and the president. we will move the conversation along, but this pipeline decision lies with the president. it will be something canadians can look to and say, he said no.
i went to get a sense on how significant a dent that could put in the relationship if president obama says no to the keystone. >> i think it depends on how it is managed between the two leaders. this is a case in which the prime minister believes this is an important issue for canada. it was understandable in the context of the run-up to the presidential election campaign the last time that he was saying no and there were other issues that were more of a local nature as well at the site, it could be accepted as something that was more in the nature of the delay and a flat-out refusal. i think it will be meaningful.
it will be important how it is explained if the answer is no. what is the justification? what is the reality that is perceived to come out of it? if their reasons are door that you describe them, i will be found -- that will be found unacceptable and that would be a problem. >> in talking to canadian politicians, there are some things out of joint. a lot of it has to do with the suggestion that if canada were to do more on the climate change front, this might help us. canadian politicians are running around now that there is greenhouse gas admission in the air.
they are going to great length to point that out. who is a real climate laggard if the u.s. is not serious on getting on this. >> that is the point. language is important. it can be a real problem. that relativity will be pointed to. given the breath of things, the things that we need to do together and the issues we need to tackle together has a common view. that ranges from foreign affairs to our common economic future. it would be unhelpful if this was more than just a bump in the road that became something that pushed us off the road. >> i think danielle wanted to jump in. before that, i get a sense of your questions in the audience. i see some hands.
ok. if you change your mind and more hands went to ask, i will get to that depending on how much time is reserved. >> the decision around the keystone is not necessarily lateral. who will be point our finger at if the president makes a decision we do not like? canada has played a role in the whole debate. it is a conversation between two countries. if canada sits back and says we need to do a better job of a filing that environmental progress, that is a big question. certain the climate policy issues are perceived widely. canada has some of the weakest time it policies of many industrialization's. i think canada has a role to play to step up and do something.
that may play a decision to turn around and say if president obama makes a decision then we will be unhappy, i think that is a narrow view on the matter. >> when the prime minister and the president got together two they were talking about the discussion of how to keep the world safe for. we are talking about iran and the development of the nuclear capacity. they're talking about the situation in syria and where eggs are going and -- and where things are going. .e're talking about libya before and after the mission.
we are talking about afghanistan. how can we move it to a place where soldiers are there moving from combat to training but asked and -- by the afghan people? we are talking of issues of north korea. we spent 10% of our agenda on this. we're talking about how to improve be on the border and improve regulatory reform. a lot of what the two leaders do is talking about life-and- death situations in our neighborhoods and in the world. the media ask about the most immediate stories -- keystone and regulatory reform perhaps. that is not necessarily what takes up most of their time when they have their meetings in the
oval office or in the state department building. >> scott, do you want to jump in and then the lease has a question. -- and then louise has a question. >> there are state visits. presidential scholars look at who has the state visits. there were india, china, mexico, korea, germany. it would be a spectacular thing for canada and u.s. relations if the two agreed to host reciprocal states. one year it could have them come here and spent time with obama's then the next year they would go up there. it is symbolic. it is like in canada that where host the royals. you also remember your history and pay attention to the way --
we have had an -- we have not had one since 1997. surely you can do it with canada. the keystone is not approved, we cannot have this conversation. for the keystone getting approved and the state visit if you do not mind. >> there you go. >> there was a moment in the presidential race during the republican primaries. i cannot remember who said it. one of the candidates talked about the keystone and set it to president obama to drive canada into the arms of china. i want to ask paul -- or in washington are skeptical about that. they say that they will send
this oil to china, but will they get the pipeline built? what are you seeing on how likely this will be for a pipeline to the east coast or west coast anytime soon? >> there are substantial options. it is open. there are substantial opposition. it is not a vote-getter in british columbia where it needs to look at it. look at the rhetoric around the post keystone period. it was a little overheated duri. they tried to demonize environmental groups and stuff
like that. there hasn't been a fundamental questioning, but there has been a sense that it was too hard. watching from afar, one of the things that stood out in the state of the union address tonight was what he said he read -- what he said. and we cannot get congressional action, we will take executive action. one of the actions he can take is reject the keystone pipeline. that would allow him to -- that is something that -- [talking over each other] >> it was really going to be on the broader climate change agenda. there are different bills in the house. there were five bills in the
senate. my view is that they know the challenge in the united states for reaching their climate change targets. they also know that they have shale gas. they now that even the market is doing some of this for them. my interpretation of what he would do is that he did not have to declare to use executive power. my interpretation is different than yours on what he met. only one person knows for sure and that is the president. >> a couple of points. i find interesting new here this discussion on the president saying that he would take executive action and then to interpret ancient means -- and the interpretation from canada means no keystone.
there is no linkage of saying he would take administrative action to reject the keystone. it is only that he is signaling anything about keystone. it is interesting that the two communities see it that way. it is important in the dialogue to step back from the rhetoric. everyone wants to say that it would go to china. many companies that you talk to are looking for alternative ways to send it to the gulf coast, because that is where it makes the most money. you do not want to ship it all the way to china. you do not want to have to go through the east coast and go through the panama amount all the way to china. you but lose a lot more money. keep that in perspective. it means getting it to where the market is.
>> let's pivot. let's talk a little bit about trade. it might be implications on energy and climate change on that as well. maybe we can start with what it this -- what is the state of the relationship of trade between canada and the u.s.? looking for different partners and trying to expand. what are the long-term challenges and ramifications on seeking i new partners? .et's start with canada >> we just had a meeting on friday with a number of people on transpacific our dinners. -- partners.
that includes the three countries and other countries in the americas and asia. the japanese administer is in washington this week. the discussion took on very well. -- the japanese prime minister is in washington this week. the discussion took on very well. 90% of the items on the table, we are fairly aligned with the united states in terms of our interest and mexico in terms of our views of north america. we want reciprocity and hopefully some national government could be a part of that so we do not have to buy america all the time. i'm not predicting that will happen. at least there is a table to discuss it. on the european union discussion, i'm pleased that canada is in negotiations and not in talks.
negotiations it means we are soon to be at an agreement with europe. it will not be easy going from talks to negotiations in the united states. there are things that will be complicated. i say that as a positive. -- i see that as a positive. there is a rule of law and reciprocity. i see them helping the united states, canada, and mexico. >> i think the future of trade between our two countries depends on a couple of things. one is the progress in sharing information to create more of a perimeter around the americas so we could have a for your flow. -- freeer flow.
that matters. the more we can cooperate on security issues, that would allow commerce to flow. the other thing that does not get talked about a lot in the treating world -- trading world , we do not talk about data. i think ross order data flows-- -- cross-date flows is the future. those are the areas that are under explored in terms of canada and the u.s. and how we approach the world to gather. that is where the future is. >> that is a good way to lead in to the point that we are here to talk about the significance of the border at a time when voters are becoming less and less significant. -- borders are becoming less and less significant. that is the currency of
commerce -- information, knowledge, and experience. it does not matter where you are on the planet. globale engaged in gome hummers. -- commerce. i do not think any business people get up in the morning thinking that way. i think it is more a question of how to take advantage of the fact that there is explosive economic growth occurring in asia. how does some of that benefit out here both in terms of talent and a potential markets? that is something we do better together than as independent entities. >> the one thing i forgot to say is the gigantic
conversation we're having about about immigration and comprehensive immigration reform. we can finally get to a reasonable consensus on immigration. there is a lot of bipartisan support on how to handle it. there is a conversation to be had with canada on who to let in and how to get them and if we send them back excessive the visa holiday being outdated. -- after their visa has become outdated. we need to cut the red tape and do everything we can do. there were canadian gas line crews ready to come. there is some bureaucratic red tape that an ambassador was able to handle. there are issues like that. how to respond to let workers cross? that is the larger issue of
immigration that will impact our ability to do business and live as a civil society. >> david, did you want to weigh in on that? what do you see in terms of what changes you see now that the united states wants to deal with the european union? what consequences does that have on canada? >> well, let me stick to my area, which is the energy part of this. we have within -- the surplus gas that is appearing drop the north american continent. one of the things we have to look for is ways that it will get used to a new productive end. chemicals, steel makers will
return because they have access to lower prices. maybe we will build in north america because of the cheaper energy. there are opportunities for the markets that are being fed i lower energy costs that are important -- by lower energy costs that are important. on the natural gas space, we are limited in terms of the countries can export to. we're talking about national gas -- natural gas exports. it has to be a country that we have a free trade agreement with. right now there is a a lot of debate as to whether we keep that gas at home to keep the rice down and stimulate industry or to allow the export do have exchange earnings.
you could when the open up the market for which the government cannot say no. these are important pieces. >> what do you watch for as the two countries look at a trade initiative? >> visa speeches from obama are being heard -- these speeches from obama are being heard around the world. i think there are more significant. we need a transition to -- there are major economies going and the direction of low carbon. we are pushing the us to go in that direction. there is opportunity for canada to diversify its economy and become low carbon.
and europe, they're looking at a directive. there is an opportunity i think to view the developments. is this a momentous change that we are looking at to start driving this? what does that mean for that relationship? i think the economic growth and the job opportunities are much bigger and greater than where we would find the fossil fuels sector. >> rupert murdoch, the guy who owns fox news and the wall street journal, he tweeted against of a keystone and said that we do not need.
we have cleaner, natural gas from phrack inc.. -- fracking. what is the implication of this domestic boom? what crowd out the need for energy from canada? what does it mean that the u.s. is talking about being energy independent? >> it was separated into two areas. natural gas and homes. we are looking at surpluses. to say whether it will crowd canadian gas out of the u.s. market, i think you will see u.s. gas finding its way into eastern canada and canadian gas finding its way into the midwest. there will be a rearranging of the pattern.
we would have a significant amount of gas to produce. there will be a surplus to deal with overtime are really low gas prices. look at the oil side. natural gas has a long way to go to chance -- to penetrate the transportation sector. until we can get that in the transportation sector either through efficient vehicles or natural gas, you will still see the need for the oil that will be flowing out of canada to come into the u.s. for quite some time. despite many optimistic forecasts, it will take a long time for the u.s. to develop resources to a point where it will be "energy dependent." -- independent." self-sufficiency is probably the right way to think of it. >> before we get off the trade
part, has it become clear that the europeans and the americans are serious about -- there are some who say that canada should be a party to the european and u.s. talks. do you think that continent to continent partnership is feasible and desirable? >> i think we are close. we have been at it over two years. we are close. close is a tough word in negotiations. you either have an agreement or you do not. i think it will be a slower process in the united states then it will be -- dan it will be in canada. - -- than it will be in canada.
we have dealt with some human rights issues that became something that colombians used with american congress and senate. my view is that we should try to conclude negotiations with europe. it will not be overnight. there are a lot of issues. when a -- when you negotiate with the europeans, that is 27 countries. >> may find it easier to deal among themselves. >> that does not entirely true. there are different rules. they have a different standard uncover on agriculture. that becomes a geographical issue.
>> if we have questions from the audience, it now would be the time to down to one of the microphones. we'll get to those in the next few minutes. >> i think the agreement because a template for a u.s.-europe agreement. a lot of it can be managed. it would make sense if we are looking out of europe to north america agreement. in a majority government, at least at the federal level, you have got the equivalent in every case. we are on a fast-track, let alone a possible discussion with europeans. that i was makes negotiating a little -- that always makes negotiating a little bit anxious.
it might be picked apart at the last minute. >> we have to hurry up and now that the president said it at the state of union address. i think it is a fantastic question. we talked about during korea as well. there was a sea trade agreement. it would be terrific if canada, the united states, and mexico use that as a model. we are unable to do that for realistic reasons. it is a great idea. >> what are those reasons? everyone in canada in favor of that approach? going with the americans on a broader trade deal? >> i would recommend to canada that we -- the prime minister
would not recommend that we wait for the united states. >> europe has had many years building an institution that is capable of being the leader. we do not have that in north america. we have not thought about how those pieces would put together. great idea, but we are not there yet. it takes a number of years to try to build that. >> most issues when dealing with other countries on the pacific side, we have a lot of similar positions. >> maywood wary about loss of sovereignty -- we would worry about loss of sovereignty. >> any folks that have any
questions, go to the microphones. if we run short on question time -- let's go here. >> i'm a student at queens university. my understanding would be that even if we were moving toward using less carbon, we would still need to use oil to appoint as we wean our way down. in importing and exporting oil to china or other countries, there is a significant amount of oil used in transportation. it would seem that the keystone pipeline makes the most sense. is the opposition toward the keystone pipeline itself a method of the oil production or something else that i might have missed? >> well, there are a couple of
different issues around the keystone pipeline. it starts around the climate issue. that is the concern. there is not an argument that we will not be using oil tomorrow. this is about the future direction of the energy policy. if we are to make a major decision about a pipeline that the last 80 years and bring 800,000 barrels a day, should we be going in that direction? that is a question about that future. we talked about the pipeline. the real concern, that oil will not stop flowing. it is about the expansion and that the industry wants to grow. i used to live in a bird up. -- alberta.
was a debate about the expansion -- there was a debate about the expansion. there were also issues around safety. >> we have time to get into that. >> ok. there are concerns about the transportation. it is basically tar sand extra the other compounds. -- mixed with other compounds. ts.re are higher incidenc there is a demand -- debate disagreement on that. >> there is one right here. >> it is a good opportunity for us to talk. indications are that the pipelines have a higher instanc e to spill.
a tar sand spill is farmer devastating than a conventional oil spill. we have major concerns about that and any regulations to deal with those types of spills. >> everyone wants in. >> not everyone has read the state department eis. i'm sure you have. >> i have. >> you read about the myths. one, pipeline safety. two, it's by far the most secure way and safest way with less emissions than pipelines on trucks and trains. there is no truth to a myth about oil going from canada to houston and having -- it is in
the document come in the draft submitted by hillary clinton. third, dealing with the types of oils that is being studied. the scientists have also studied it. it is not a thought. there is science based on those three factors. >> absolutely. the pipeline being proposed has got to be the most studied pipeline ever proposed on the planet. i do not know if there is a valve at every hinge, but there are extra measures that they took on board because of the concerns raised on nebraska and other places.
they have gone out of their way to ensure that a modern, high- tech pipeline with lots of extra features would be the state this possible way to get the oil to its destination. >> i do not want to prolong the argument about the myths and no n=myths,, but back to the oil. let's say it was successful in not being exported somewhere else. there would still be hundreds of barrels coming from someplace else. it is important to realize that the amount of oil that will be consumed would be the same. that oil has its own risk associated with it. tankers are notoriously risky or banging -- for bringing oil.
i think we have to look at this on balance. it would mean taking that oil that would be produced in canada and syndicate to summerhouse -- sending it to somewhere else. >> i think the worry some in is the notion that the worry some thing is the notion that this is really about the use of fossil fuels altogether. we might agree that it is better to reduce fossil fuel and everyone agrees that we need to work on getting to that point. that is not the result of stopping one particular source from one particular country. that is a much broader issue. including how you signal prices and how you want the man to be.
let -- and how you want the man to be. then we will know they are serious -- onwant the demand to be. then they will know they are serious. >> it was not because barack obama was being elect did, but it was a state of nebraska that had a republican governor. they had a lot of safety questions about the route. they took their time. they have an alternative route. there are still some debate in nebraska whether that is good or not. i do not want to do miss -- di these questions. >> i'm with shock to medications -- shaw communications.
we have an interest in this development. i find some of this confusing. at first it was about the pipeline and now that there have been accommodations made by making adjustments in environmental concerns, i think it is ironic that the american environmentalists talked about fossil disasters and oil spills when the greatest disasters have been in the gulf of mexico. we do not feel we need to be reached -- preached to. there are debates about tar sands in canada, but i think there is resentment at having another country talked to us about this. there is a question -- if this
is being developed in montana, would they still be an issue? >> davie, do you want to start? >> unfortunately, americans think they can ocean there will into many parts of the world. -- think they can push their wi ll into many parts of the world. there would be resistance i'm sure to building a pipeline, but the question of whether or not it would go to the president, i -- >> i had to reiterate that a lot what canadians see and read about is what is in the news in canada. there is a lot of environmental debates and things going on in
the united states that are not being reported on. it is a mistake to assume that keystone is the environmental issue. it is a u.s. decision on whether to bring the pipeline through the united states. it is not the united states imposing any will. if canada wants to develop this resource, why is the majority of british columbian still opposed for it going to the west coast? this is not just americans who are concerned about a development on a very high impact resource. canadians across canada -- i talked to on a regular bases that are concerned about the expansion plan. >> many look at keystone and take it personally. in the early days of protests and organizing against keystone
, i talk to some leaders who are getting this going. why are you focused on this one pipeline and not on something else? they would say because it is up to the president. you cannot blame this on congress. you can i say tried, but republicans messed it up. this was an issue that he had 100% control over. the due process is the state department, but they make a recommendation and he calls the shots. they were focusing on the president. there are so few positions where he does have the ultimate say. it does not have to go through the power structure of washington. i think that point gets lost share. here is a big project. he has control over it. we have some leverage. we think we can win.
>> talking about public opinion, every public opinion has a 2-1 or 3-1 in favor of the pipeline. most americans have a commonsense view. they would rather get their view from canada or venezuela or the middle east. every governor where the pipe goes through -- democrats and republicans -- supported. a majority of the house members voted for it even though the president has ultimate authority. 13 senators from the democratic party have signed a letter or voted for this pipeline. in terms of the united states, the public would prefer to get the oil from canada as opposed to venezuela and the middle
east. it is not that complicated in terms of what is in the national interest of the united states. it is complicated in terms of the debate going on in washington. >> do you want to weigh in? >> no. i think that is exactly right. turning to what is happening with respect to transportation in canada is that misinformation has no nationality. at the same time, i would reiterate that the product will move. it might get into tankers. the question has to be asked whether that is practical for the route proposed going into the uu.s. >> hi. and political and environmental activists.
my mother is canadian and half of my family is canadian. this whole fracking and tar sands --we never think of bamboo, soybeans, the wind, the sun. why can't we not changed our minds from what we're used to? just keep using oil, oil, oil. why can we not just think of higher thoughts of renewable energy? we do not need to dig under the earth and make it bad. we do not want to totally destroy the year. -- earth. cannot think of higher levels of renewable energies in there? 's lectures it is about
70% renewable. -- electricity is about 70% renewable. there was a proposal to have winds from on cannot go on a transmission line to another place. -- to have winds go from a transmission line to another place. it is being blocked. even when we get wind or solar or hydro, there is still opposition for people to transition. that is similar to what is going on with pipeline. even when you get renewables, you cannot take it from where it is being produced sometimes to where it is being consumed. >> if it because we are used to
oil and getting oil everywhere? or is it because it is a new idea and nobody likes it? some people say, we are used to that. i really think if we get used to using wind energy and the water and the soybeans and bamboo, we could do many things to make this earth more friendly. we are lead in nuclear. countries behind us are still dealing with nuclear energy. >> we will get to humor questions. >> i appreciate your sentiment and activism. i understand how and orton the renewable debate is. an analogy -- i understand how important the renewable debate is. there is an analogy that it is a luxury. it should not be, but it is a
little bit like healthy eating. when you try to eat organic and healthy food, it is more expensive to put that in your kids lunch boxes than it is to grab fast food. there is an obesity epidemic that has a lot to do with how affordable it is. you raise an port in question. it is incredibly -- you raise an important question. we need breakthroughs where it is affordable and something that could be implemented. >> really what we are talking about is the transition that we all want to make from the fossil based economy to a more renewable biomass, energy efficiency. to do that, it takes major decisions.
part of that is making energy efficiency which canada and the u.s. have worked on. the real opportunity is what canada and the u.s. can do to drive that innovation and transition. it means making tough decisions. there are fossil fuel resources that are available. if we tackle the climate change issue, it will not be necessarily the future we have all been sold. there are tough decisions. they are often job creating. at thea student university of ottawa. i have noticed that a lot of people back home are standing in
solidarity with the people of the united states who want the pipeline. do you think that opinion of those canadians is coming from a canadian media or a politician or activist who have legitimate concerns? or is that a result of the information coming from the united states and the environmental movements and the protests down here? if it comes from the united states, is that a problem that canadians are may be their opinions about foreign policy issues from other countries media sources? >> anyone want to jump in on that? on radioten invited stations and they ask what they think about such and such. they disagree on stuff. the danger with coming down from
ottawa and asking how the americans and canadians are getting along is that they are both complex societies. the relationship is personified in a single combat symbolism with the president and the prime minister. as ambassador knows, it is more complex than that. very often, the winning game is to play american domestic interest and hope to take advantage and vice versa. as for getting news from american sources, it is an excellent gift. [laughter] >> i will not disagree with that. >> question here. >> thank you for your time.
i'm a canadian that is going to grad school in washington. can you spend a few moments and giving me your opinion on what the stakes are for president obama? is this a high-stakes issue? does he risk alienating the key environmental support? or is he not really at risk? >> thank you. >> that is a good question. the easy questions never come to the president' desk. he has nothing but difficult decisions to make. the stakes are high. the stakes are high because the environmental community has been pretty unified on this issue. canada is very forceful on this issue. congress has gotten into the act. he has got to balance all sorts
of political constituencies along with the reality that every dollar that you invest sense certain -- sends a certain amount of cents. it is personally his decision to make. before the election, he was able to delay it. let's say he will fast-forward a portion. that was a pretty deft political move. >> it was also about labor. a lot of labor. they worked hard for the president's reelection. many of them were tough so- called swing states. many of them are working on proposal to take veterans that are coming back from afghanistan and having helmets to hard chats an important program.
tore'll be many coming back the united states. i get that if you look at all of the security in the united states, they are saying that this is good for u.s. security to not be dependent on the turmoil that we see every day in the middle east. there is security for the us in terms of energy security. there is employment for workers. there are returning veterans that need jobs and training. he is also looking at a number of things he will do on the environment. this is not the only decision he'll make on the environment. there is opportunity for energy independence from the middle east and to fill his commitment. i think he has the ability to do
both. >> if he approves the pipeline, he has got to do something significant. he has got to give them something. >> listen carefully to the speech. he is not against the carbon economy per se. he has to deliver something. >> we will give our closing statements. i apologize to the gentleman at the microphone. a couple of minutes to sum up. >> the decision on any large issue will be on practical and symbolism. we have seen that tonight. the keystone represents the equivalent of 6 million new -- on american highways. the ambassador was very good and
saying to put good oral and. that is the -- to put good poil in. i often say the issue be that chicken coming into roost. he ran against and environmentalists in 2008. there was a carbon tax. he is working to do it a third time. he spent his entire political career defeating environmentalists. now he needs a favor from one. that one lives at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> i think candidate could make
this easier for the president. he has to deliver something on climate. they would like to see more concrete steps being taken. here are concerns. here is ho they have to show that they are taking it seriously. it might mean taking some harsh relations -- regulations. that would cost them a lot politically. it is controversial to do that. that is an alternative step that he could take. >> we started on keystone and have ended on keystone. maybe that is right. thank you for being with us in washington this evening. thank you to our panelists for being here.
great to have you here. thank you to all of you watching at home. thank you to our friends at c- span for carrying this program to our friends in the united states this evening. thank you. see you back here in washington a couple of years to now. good night. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] >> coming up on c-span, president obama talks about the impacts of sequestration. then we will have more about that on fiscal responsibility. later, i harvard university society host a debate on same- sex marriage in the is heading to the supreme court this spring. >> on the next "washington journal" chris mihm talks about
government operations. then megan hughs talks about gun control, immigration, and healthcare. then looking at the job market. "washington journal" takes your calls, e-mails, and tweets, live on wednesday at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. tomorrow, eight john kerry makes his first major speech since his confirmation. we will be live for his remarks at the university of virginia starting at 11 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> the coming is an of china is cunning and some only in name these days -- the communism of
china is really just on mean is that in name these days. communism now in china -- it is all about preserving the power economically as the country continues to in north korea, it is about preserving the power of the military and the dynasty that you have there. it has nothing to do with karl mark's vision was way back. it is a fascinating book about exhumism merged into something -- communism. >> former "washington post" correspondent on 34 years of reporting, sunday at 8:00 on
c-span's "q&a." >> tuesday president obama warned that people will "loss their jobs" is sequestration takes effect. this is 10 minutes. >> thank you. good morning, everybody. please have a seat. welcome to the white house. as i said in my state of the union address, our top priority should be doing everything we can to grow the economy and create good jobs. that is our top priority and it
drives every decision we make and it has to drive the decisions that congress and everybody in washington makes over the next several years. that is why it is so troubling that 10 days from now congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. it will not help the economy. it will not create jobs. it will visit hardship on a lot of people. here is what is at stake. over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficit i more than $2.5 trillion. more than two thirds of that was through some really tough spending cuts. the rest of it was through raising taxes, tax rates on the wealthiest 1% of americans. together, when you take the spending cuts and increased tax
rates on the top 1%, it puts us halfway to the goal of four dollars trillion -- $4 trillion in deficit reduction. that is what economists say we need to stabilize our finances. congress also passed a law in 2011 saying that if both parties cannot agree agree on a plan to achieve that goal, about one trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would take effect this year. and the design was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that democrats and republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. so, this was all designed to say we cannot do these bad cuts, let's do something smarter. that was the point of this so-called sequestration.
unfortunately, congress did not compromise. they had to come together -- have not come together to do their job and we have these brutal pending cuts that are poised to take place next friday. if this meet: -- meat cleaver approach takes place, it will this a rate investments in education and medical research, and it will not consider whether we are cutting a bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that americans depend on every single day. it does not make those decisions. emergency responders, like the ones that are here today, their ability to help will be degraded. border patrol agents will see their hours reduced. fbi agents will be furloughed.
federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays in airports across the country. thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. hundreds of thousands of americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. already, the threat of these cuts has forced the navy to delay and at craft carrier that was supposed to deploy today persian gulf. as military leaders have made clear, changes like this, not well thought through, not phased and properly, affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world.
these cuts are not smart, not fair, will hurt our economy and add hundreds of thousands of americans to unemployment rolls. this is not an abstraction. people will lose their jobs. the unemployment rate might take up again. that is why democrats, the republicans business leaders and economists, they have already said that these cuts, nobody as sequestration are a bad idea. they are not good for our economy. they are not how we should run our government. here is the thing, they do not have to happen. there is a smarter way to reduce deficits without harming our economy, congress has to act in order for that to happen. now, for two years i have offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that would prevent these harmful cuts.
i outlined it again last week at the state of the union. i am willing to cut more spending that we do not need. get rid of programs that are not working. i have laid out specific reforms to entitlement programs that could achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. i am willing to save hundreds of billions of dollars by enacting comprehensive tax reform that gets rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected without raising taxes. i believe such a balanced approach that combines tax reform with additional spending reforms done inthoughtful way is the best job a smart,to finish the job of deficit
reduction and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery and put people out of work. most americans agree with me. now, the house and the senate are working on budgets that i hope reflect this approach. if they can not get such budget agreement done by next friday, the day these harmful cuts begin to take effect, then, at minimum, congress should pass a smaller package that would prevent the harmful cuts, not to kick the can down the road come a but to give them time to work on a plan that finishes the job of deficit reduction in a sensible way. i know democrats and republicans in the house and the senate have proposed is up a plan, a balanced plan that pairsspending
cuts with tax reform, and closes loopholes to make sure billionaires cannot pay a lower tax rate than their secretary. i know republicans have proposed plans as well, but so far they ask nothing of the wealthiest americans or biggest corporations, so the burden is on first responders, seniors, or middle-class families. they doubled down, in fact, on the heart -- harsh, harmful cuts that i outlined. so far what they have expressed is a preference where they would rather have these cuts go into effect then close a single tax loophole for the wealthiest americans -- not one. that is not balanced. that is like democrats saying we have to call -- close deficits without any spending cuts. that is not the position democrats or i have taken.
it is wrong to ask the middle class to bear the full burden of deficit reduction and that is why i will not sign a plan that harms the middle class. so, now republicans in congress face the choice -- are they willing to compromise to protect vital investment in education, healthcare, national security and all the jobs that depend on them, or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our economy at risk to protect a few tax loopholes that benefit the largest corporations and wealthiest americans. that is the choice. do you want to see first responders lose their jobs to protect special interest tax loopholes? are you willing to have teachers laid off were kids not have access to -- or kids not have access to headstart, or deeper cuts in student loan programs
just to protect a special interest tax loophole that the vast majority of americans do not benefit from? that is the choice. that is the question. this is not an abstraction. there are people's lives at stake, communities that will be impacted in a negative way, and a lot of times this squabbling in washington seems abstract, and in the abject people like the idea -- there must be spending we could cut, waste out there. there absolutely is, but this is not the right way to do it. my door is open. i put tough cuts and reforms on the table. i am willing to work with anybody to get this job done. none of us will get 100% of what we want, but nobody should want the cuts to go through because the last thing our families can
afford right now is paying imposed unnecessarily by ideological rigidity here in washington. the american people have worked too hard, too long, rebuilding from one crisis to seek elected officials cause another one, and it seems like every three months there is a manufactured crisis. we have more work to do than chu -- than to just try to dig ourselves out of self-inflicted wounds. while a plan to reduce our deficit has to be part of the agenda, but deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. we learned in the 1990 costs when bill clinton was president that nothing shrieks of deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. that should be the focus, they can america a magnet for good
jobs and equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs and that their hard work leads to a decent living. those are the things we should push ourselves to think about every day. that is what the american people expect. that is what i will work on every single day to help deliver. i need everybody who is watching today to understand we have a few days. congress could do the right thing. we could avert just one more washington-manufactured pop him that slows our recovery -- manufactured problem that slows our recovery and that would do right by first responders, america's middle class, and what i will be working and fighting for over the next few weeks and years. thank you very much, everybody. thank you for your service.
[applause] [applause] >> following president obama's remark house speaker john boehner released a statement criticizing the president on the impending sequester. he said in part -- "replacing the president's sequester will require a plan to cut spending that will put us on the path to a budget that is balanced in the 10 years. " the former leaders of
president obama's deficit commission erskine bowles and all land simpson were in washington today for a discussion on the impending sequestration deadline. this is 40 minutes. [applause] . welcome all of you who are following us on twitter. twitter, happy to have you here for the simpson-bowles playbook breakfast, appearing together, senator alan simpson and former house chief of staff erskine bowles. before we welcome them, i would like to say thank you to the bank of america for their partnership.
the politico playbook breakfast is grateful for these are conversations here. on twitter, playbook breakfast, and i have a question up here. i will be taking your questions here. we would like to welcome senator simpson and mr. bowles. good morning and welcome to playbook breakfast. [applause] mr. bowles, you have soup on your tie. why is that? >> on behalf of america, for the people, by the people. everybody wants to know how you can entertain the fact that you want to cut medicaid and social security.
[indiscernible] we would not have to have this conversation. tax refunds. pay your fair share taxes. a your fair taxes. america wants to know. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. pay your fair taxes. >> this is a practical document, what you like -- i would have liked to have done and there were two pieces of news in it. one is that this is getting more expensive and will cost about $5 trillion.
>> i am a retired civil engineer, i paid in the social security system all my life. >> we will bring you in the conversation. >> the cuts to medicare and social security have to stop. we want the corporations to pay their fair tax share. stop cutting jobs. pay your fair taxes. do not cut from here. >> we should probably address this. >> i agree very -- agree. >> 12.3 million americans -- >> sir, you need to leave. sir, we need you to leave. >> we need good jobs now.
we need good jobs now. pay your taxes. we need good jobs now. pay your taxes. we need good jobs now. >> go ahead and address his point. >> if you look at the plan we are putting forward we call for broadening the base and simplifying the code in an aggressive manner. if you look at where the tax expenditures are paid, they are generally paid by people in the upper income brackets so in a progressive manner they will increase. >> that is not true. we have major corporations, and you are part of that, not paying their fair share. >> we need good jobs now.
we need good jobs now. >> we are really serious about this. >> so am i. >> all right. the second point i would make is if you look at what we are doing with social security, we give people between 81 and 86 and annual bump up. that is when most private plans run out. we have tried to be sensitive to this. the second principle is we do not want to do anything that hurts the truly disadvantaged, and we do raise the minimum payment on social security. >> in this plan you make it clear that neither side is doing enough. approaches so far have been band-aids.
this is designed to be something that can be enacted. what needs to happen to create a runway that actually gets a deal? how do you create an environment where something big could happen? >> for us, what we felt that the end of last year was a disappointment like no other that i have ever experienced. we felt that was the magic moment. it was the time where we had the best chance to do something serious about long-term fiscal reform and responsibility and we felt it was a lost opportunity. as we have looked back on it, it has become clearer to us that if we are going to get a bipartisan deal we will have to push both
sides to get out of their comfort zone and make the kind of compromises we need to make to get something done. >> senator simpson, what is the point of no return? you have been talking for a long time to convince people this is a problem that needs to be addressed. when is the tipping point? when will people really feel it? >> you will note how sweet i have been in the last few minutes, which is not my trait, however,, being a pugnacious old coupe from the university of wyoming, having been another 20 years younger, i would have been invigorated, but i still am. let me tell you, if anybody can not understand what we are trying to do, and cannot
understand the sequester will do total disruption because it does not drive the engines driving us into -- touch the engines driving us into eternity, the drag of healthcare, it cannot work. it is on automatic pilot. it will suck up the entire discretionary budget of the u.s. if anybody can not understand what we trying to do with social security to make it solvent for 75 years they are lost in the swamps. the trustees of the system, wonderful americans, democrats and republicans alike, are saying that if you do not do something to restore the solvency of the system, which is $900 billion in negative cash flow right now, and you will waddle up to the window in the year 2031 and get a check for 25% less, you have to have rock
for brains not to figure that out. if you are 81, figure this out. when i was 15 years old i put five dollars into social security and the cody bakery, making those sweet rolls -- i will never eat another one in my life -- that i putting in the army. then i practiced law for over 18 years, and i never put in more than $874 a year, then it went to $2000 a year, $3000 a year, self-employed. in 1984 when we were missing for this -- with this, the guide a retired got everything back in the first five years. there were 16 people paying into the system, and today there are 1 -- three people take -- paying
into the system, and one taking out. whatever you put in today, i get tomorrow. the retirement age was at 65 because life expectancy was 63. now, life expectancy is 78.1, and in three years will be 80. wake up. forget the emotion, fear, guilt, racism and all the crap that goes with this, and use your brain, for god's sake. >> the point of no return? >> i do not think anyone knows when the tipping point will come, you will know it when it hits us. >> are we talking two years or 20 years, or 200 years? >> it could be two years. what we do know is the economy never moves as fast as you think
it will but once it acts it quicker than you ever thought was possible. today, we are the best looking horse in the glue factory. we have the fed out there keeping interest rates really low. we are spending $230 billion a year on interest. that is more than we spend at the department of commerce, education, energy, homeland security, interior, justice, state -- actually, more than all of them combined and if interest rates were where they were in -- 1990's, we would be spending $600 billion that we can not spend to educate our kids or spend on research or infrastructure to make sure the jobs of the future are here and not somewhere else. >> i wrote down the tipping
point, because i have not answered that question. dick durbin kept asking this question during our eight months -- "where is the tipping point?" i cannot tell you where it is, but the money guys -- erskine bowles is one of the money guys -- the tipping point comes when the people that have loaned us the money -- we always $16.4 trillion, and what we did last month will take us to $20 trillion in 10 years. the tipping point is when the people who loaned us the money, have to that is private, and the other half is public, and half of that is china. the tipping point comes when the people who have loaned us the money -- one people -- one of the presidential candidates said forget the money. that is a great idea except for the people that loaned you the
money. you are addicted to debt, you have proven that, and people that have a dysfunctional government, and we will prove that again when we go to a sequester. at that point they will say we want more money for our money, and at that point inflation will pick up, interest rates will go up, and the guy did get screwed the most is the little guy, the middle class that everybody babbles about day and night is the guy that is going to get hammered. the money guys will always take care of themselves. what an irony to listen to the distortion, the emotion, the stuff that goes on. we just keep plowing ahead. it is fun for me to irritate the aarp and grover norquist in equal measure.
it makes your life worthwhile. they are out there, saying we will be savaged. anything we do, we will be savaged. >> senator simpson, when was the last time you talked to president obama? >> erskine is nearby. i talk with joe biden on the phone. i have known him for 40 years. a great pal. we do not always agree, but a good man and i love him. i suppose it has been about a year and a half since i talked to the president, but erskine has the ability to do that close by. >> when was the last time you talked to the president? >> right before the election. i have talked to vice president biden since the election and members of the white house team constantly, whether it has been jack lew or -- >> it is remarkable that you
have not talked to the president since the election. >> i do not think it is remarkable. these guys have a lot on their plate. >> if joe biden were president would we have had a grand bargain? >> who knows? if bill clinton were president, would we have had a grand bargain? we need a grand bargain and both parties need to move out of their comfort zones. >> let's talk about those two sides. we will start with what you are asking democrats to do -- and needs to be $600 billion in deficit reduction from health savings. the last offer from the white house was $400 billion. you say they need to do quite a bit more. >> they do need to do quite a bit more if we are going to slow the rate of the growth of health care.
>> how do you convince them? they will argue that they have been aggressive. how will you convince them that that will not get the job done? >> we have to convince americans they need to do more on health care than they have been willing to do to date, and republicans have to do more on revenue than they have already done. >> specifically, you say there needs to be more revenue from tax reform, whereas republicans have talked about that being revenue neutral. >> that will not get the job done. if we do not do something on the revenue side it puts too much pressure on the rest of the operation of the country and we have to make cuts that are too big in either the income support program or cuts in areas we need
to invest in to be competitive in aknowledge-based, global economy -- things like education, infrastructure and research. yes, we are recommending that the $2.4 trillion is step one. we recommend that one quarter comes from revenue, one quarter from healthcare cuts, and the remainder from cuts in other mandatory spending, discretionary spending, interest on the bed, and going to the change cpi. >> what is the most important change that needs to be made to entitlements? >> we need to stabilize the debt and keep it on a downward path. >> specifically, what mechanical change needs to be made to entitlements? >> a lot of things need to be done. i would not say just one thing. we need to have more cost-sharing with appropriate protection for low income beneficiaries. we need to have means testing. we need to get serious about population aging. we need to have tort reform.
we need to have savings from what we pay to drug manufacturers and we need to pay for quality rather than quantity. all those are important. >> and you have to take care of the guy who pays for the building who does not even get a bill. anyone who believes we can get these health care systems to work, you can take care of a 3-year-old with disabilities who can live to 60, you have diabetes a and b endemic -- if we do not pay attention to this aging issue, nothing will work. we got to do something with tort reform. i am an old trial lawyer. my son says, pop, what happened to you?
you got to do something with doctors. you got to do something withyou cannot keep doing a doc providers. fix. last time we did this, it was in the law. it will cost us $220 billion over the next 10 years. this baby is on automatic pilot. it is extraordinary people say you cannot touch medicare and social security -- you did not have to give a tax increase to gain the ire of grover. you do not have to do that. you go into the tax code and you say, guess what -- you want a stimulus? everyone says, what the hell do you think a deficit of $1 trillion-plus is?
that is what a stimulus is, and we have done over a trillion bucks over the last four years. going into the tax code and ripping around in it, fun to do that, that will irritate everyone. there are 180 of those babies in there. >> 180 what? >> tax expenditures in the tax code. they are loopholes or deductions, all the works, and guess what -- only 20% of the american people use 80% of them. run that through your gourd again. only 20% of the american people use 80% of them. only 27% of the american people itemize on their tax return, which means 3/4 americans have never heard of those. who is using them? me? you? the media? anyone who has a few bucks is
using those babies, and they suck $1 trillion-plus out of the treasury each year. >> do you believe tax reform this year is possible? >> yes, i think max baucus and dave camp are trying to do something, and they know what to do, but the heat is on. tax reform, you want to mess around with home mortgage deduction, blue cross, blue shield -- play the game. 180 of those out there, and they are solidly in the grasp of somebody who is going to go to their congress person this trip around who they have maxed out on every primary and on every general and they will come to them this year and say, we have never asked you for a thing,
but, pal, we're here to ask you do not let this happen. it took us years to get that into the tax code, and if you let that out, with all we have done for you -- and, boy, that is where the hammer is coming this year. >> there is a headline that says "employers size up fines to avoid insuring staff under obamacare." they are calculating whether it is making more sense to pay the fine. that will shift a huge cost burden to the exchanges. are you worried about that? >> i am worried about the cost of health care. >> as we travel around the country and we talked to various business people, they are worried about the increased costs and they are shifting some people to less than 35 hours, taking a lot of steps that they
do not have to cover, people that they have been covering, particularly in retail. >> do you think there will be a lot of that? i have anecdotal information, so i cannot give you any economic data, but i can tell you i've seen a good bit of it as we have traveled around the country. >> people saying they are going to try to avoid obamacare by cutting back hours or by paying fines? >> correct. one of the consequences is people will be shifted to exchanges, and increased cost, and that is why we want to bring down health care and make recommendations for the cuts that we have in the health care program in order to slow the rate of growth of health care on a per-capita basis to the rate of growth of the economy. >> a small business person said how much will the fine be? they told her, and she said, to hell with that, i will pay that, and move on.
>> do you think people will feel like she does? >> anybody who is employing anybody or trying to do jobs and all the stuff that everybody is really talking about and should know you have to do something with this health care system. it is going to continue and what we have determined as automatic pilot, and we have said let's lop $400 billion and let it not go over 1% of gdp. you should put something in there with triggers and restraints, not letting this thing go up over 1% of gdp a year, which drives it in a hole. >> there are two sides -- anybody in this room who does not think 35 million people who do not have health care insurance do not get health care, you are wrong. they're getting health care,
just getting it today at the emergency room at five times or eight times the cost of being in a doctor's office. it gets shifted and gets cost shifted to you in the form of higher taxes and insurance costs. >> there is an assumption among the editorial pages of america among reporters that when president obama gets the opportunity to do the right thing on entitlements, that he will, he will be willing to make his party do tough things. but we do not know that for sure. how confident are you that this president will do the right thing on entitlements if he gets the chance? >> he ran on this in the election, and he intends to do it. incrementally, perhaps. >> why wait? >> i am answering your question, which is a good thing. [laughter]
he knows what to do, and if he does not get a handle on the entitlements and the solvency of social security, he will have a failed presidency, and if he wants to have a legacy of fdr ii, whatever that drives him, that is fine with me, but he will have a failed presidency unless he deals honestly with the entitlements programs without cutting the poor and the wretched and all the rest and all this stuff. and getting something for social security, then his scorecard in years to come was he failed. i do not think he wants that at all. he is too smart. >> i think the president has to make these tough cuts in health care spending. i think he's going to have to take the actions that make the social security sub stainably
solvent. he is going to have to make additional cuts in the defense >> who is the one person in the white house that is most committed to making these choices? i think the one person in the white house is the president. i have met with him several times. i believe that he's willing to make these cuts in the entitlement programs that we have to make. that doesn't mean i want to continue to push him outside of his comfort zone to go a little bit further than he might want to go otherwise. we're going to have to push you
to get a deal through republicans. we have to push the republicans in other words -- in ordered to the deficit. >> you've been in the west wing. how do you push a president? >> the way i have done it is speaking candidly, not agree, but tell him what you think, and why. this is a smart guy. he will understand it and make the right decision at the end of the day. >> or we could turn joe biden was on and, because he came to the senate when joe was there as a senior member, and joe took him under his wing, and he listens to joe, as you would with a senior colleague, and joe is always pulled out of the hat, the rabbit in the hat, to do something, and that is the role joe has. joe has a remarkable ability to communicate with him. >> what are you referring to?
>> joe has his ear -- and can say, if you're going to do this do this. clean outget rid of the political guys the room. and say, let's do some policy now, let's do something for america. the political guys have all gone home now, and they were there for a purpose, and it worked. getting reelected, and then we will work out the details later. they are gone, all into academia now, and so maybe they will sit down for the best interests of the country without the howling, tricking, wail of the coyotes to bang your brains in. >> how optimistic are you that it will happen this year? i hope so. especially young people like you. >> will it happen this year?
>> it will happen in his four years or no legacy. if he cannot cut the mustard a solvency of social security under honest appraisals of the trustees and he cannot get a handle on an automatic pilot reg on health care, he will have a failed presidency. >> we were talking about the sequester, which most people in the room believe will happen on march 1, automatic cuts. mr. bowles, you refer to them as dumb, stupid. >> they are dumb and stupid. they're stupid because they are inane. there is no business in the country that makes cuts across the board. you try surgical cuts -- those things that have the least adverse effect on productivity. they are cutting those areas where we have to invest in education, infrastructure, and they do not make any cuts in those things that are growing faster than the economy.
that is stupid. >> yet it sounds like when the sequester kicks in, that may be a window to do something big. you were chief of staff during the government shutdown. tell us what is going to happen march 1 when they kick in and why that might be a chance to do something big. >> when you have to go to reagan airport and wait in line three hours to get through security, you will be pissed. and so will everybody else. you could use a lot of different stories just like that, and when that happens, they will come back to congress and say, we're sick of this intransigence, let's get together, let's do something smart, put the partisanship aside, let's pull together, and let's fix this debt. >> senator simpson, many people have seen the video of you, gangnam style, a little harlem shake for us? >> did i pay for it?
i didn't hear that last -- [laughter] >> a little harlem shake for us? >> they handed me -- these young people, you got to admire them. the can kicks back, they handed me this script that said, stop instagramming your breakfast. i said, what that hell is that? and then they said, stop tweetering your world's worst problem. i said, what that hell is that? and then they said stop watching gangnam style, i looked like a guy riding a horse with a lasso. i said, i could do that. [laughter] and so i did, and it's a curse, but we figured we made were hit with the young people that if we did a national bus tour. they are a great group. the can kicks back. >> and do you think you will do it again? >> well, not if my knee continues to irritate me like before.
>> you have been getting more into social media. you're on the facebook board and on facebook. >> yeah, i'm really with it now. i am old, bald, nine grandchildren under 7. you got to stay as current as you can, and when al and i first got into this deal, we thought we were doing it for our grandkids, but the more we looked at numbers and the country's financial condition, we realized we're not doing it for our grandkids, not even doing it for our kids, we're doing it for us and for the country. we have got to put our fiscal house in order. we cannot be the first generation of americans to leave the country worse off than we found it. >> the point you make is it gets
worse, the debt because we get more into the baby booms, because of inflation, because of growth. this problem is getting more expensive to fix. it 2010, there was $4 trillion over nine, now it is $5 trillion over 10. how fast will they get too expensive to fix? >> there's nothing more powerful than compound interest. we are spending $250 billion a year on interest today. we will be spending, if interest rates were at their normal level, $150 billion. it will not be long before we're spending $1 trillion a year on interest. that is $1 trillion we cannot spend in this country to educate our kids to build our infrastructure, to do the high-value-added research, and unfortunately, since we are borrowing some of that money which come principally from
places like asia, it is $1 trillion debt will be spent over there to educate their kids to build their infrastructure, to do the high-value-added research in those countries. the jobs of the future will be there, not here. that is crazy. that is what we have to stop. that is why we need to do something about it. >> we are about to get the hook, so the penultimate question for you, did you read "the price of politics"? >> i did, and there some quotations there that i would like to smash back, but i did. >> did you participate with the book? >> yes. >> how was it when you met bob woodward? >> you ought to be alert. every time he came to my office, [laughter] i was alert. we would have lunch, and he
never misquoted me at all. he has an amazing -- i do not agree with him in all respects -- but he has an amazing journalistic acumen, which is startling, and the book has stuff in it that is real. >> did you speak with him? >> i do not remember. i probably would have if he called me, but i do not remember talking to him, but i may have. i do not do a lot of that. it is not my favorite thing to do. >> how close do you think we were to a grand bargain? >> i think we could have had a grand bargain. ic it was realist tick. both sides were prepared to make a move. if you look at the end of last year, they were prepared to do more revenue, they agreed to do more revenue than was in the fiscal cliff deal. they agreed more health care cuts than have been done to date, but what it was both on
the beneficiary and provider sides. they agreed to do other mandatory cuts that was everything from agriculture to federal retirees. they agreed to do cuts in defense and non-defense beyond what is in the budget control act, and they agreed to do a chained cpi. it would have been a positive step forward. it would not have solved the problem because it would have only gotten the debt down to a 73% of gdp. it began to go up after that. we have got to quit focusing on these next 10 years and focus on the out years. that is why we need to make social security sustainably solvent, why we have to slow the rate of health care and get serious about ending the cost care curve. >> so that these guys were this close in december, then we will pick up from there and move it
along. that is what this is coming, not because simpson-bowles or bowles-simpson said. it is do something. >> if not president obama, who? there's a short window here. if sides are too dug-in here, three years from now, there will be a new window to get things done. who do you think it will be if it is not president obama? >> at the beginning of president clinton's first term, i said now is the opportune time. what we need to do is to quit complaining and push these guys to make the compromise they have to make in order to get something real that puts our fiscal house in order. >> he spent hours and days in his work, the last person to balance the budget in the united
states, by working with newt gingrich and dick armey. he often says he only won, but he is that kind of savvy, mr. steady. i admire him deeply, watched him, he is a tremendous man, the best of the best, if he with his skill and negotiating skills cannot get us there, it will not get there, and the markets will do the shot. they do not care a whit about who is president or a whit about democrats or republicans. they care about money, and if anybody cannot figure that out -- they have rocks for brains. >> senator simpson, you will have the last word here. >> god, i did not want that. [laughter] >> tell us what will happen to the markets if that happens? >> what is the word you used,
you money guys, the word when they want their money and they are out there? not "panic." we do not want to use that word. that's the tipping point. i do not know what it is, but i know we stumble and looked unbelievably unable to function, even to talk with each other, to visit with each other, to sit down, as i used to get ted kennedy or tip o'neill -- that is what i did. that is how i was successful. i was a legislator. i did not come here to be king or leader. i came to legislate. until we see this open up again -- and it will open up again when the markets call the shot and inflation kicks and an interest rates go up and the people of america say, who did this onyou were here, and you
did not who's watch? do a lick, and you're out of here next time. that will be the beginning of this solution. >> we thank you for watching. we thank bank of america for making these conversations possible. we thank all of you who came out early for this. we thank erskine bowles and alan simpson. thank you very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> next on c-span, harvard's university host two authors on same-sex marriage. the cases are headed to the supreme court this spring. then supreme court justice ruth ginsburg talks about her career. later, there's a discussion from the u.s.-canada relations from washington, d.c. >> on the next "washington journal" from the accountability office talks about government operations in abuse and
mismanagement. then from bloomberg tv talks about gun control, immigration, and heche. then the business editor on a recent story look at the job market. washington journal takes your calls, e-mails and tweets live on 7:00 eastern on c-span. tomorrow, john kerry delivers his first major speech since his comfy mation. we'll be live for his remark at the university of virginia starting at 7:00 eastern here on c-span. >> from the start we told the board that the approach we were going to take, which was pretty straight forward. we were there to fix g.m., the board. that was the mission. make this a vible company again. so we were all focusesed and i
brought the message that we're going to design and build the world's best vehicles. we're going to move quickly, we need your support and your input. so we changed a few things about the board meeting, we shortened them considerably. we stay wad from the details and did not get into the weeds of how you build a car but bigger things like moral, that sort of thing. the board was supportive of that and we kept them informed. we just took off. >> leading general motors through bankruptcy and the government bailout. former chairman and c.e.o. ed whitter sunday night at 9:00 part of booktv. like us on facebook. the supreme court is expected to hear arguments in late march in two cases that has laws
restricting gay marriage. the federal society hosted the society on >> thank you. richard fallon is the junior professor of constitutional law at harvard law school. he also earned a ba degree from oxford university, where he was a rhodes scholar. he served as a law clerk to justices of the united states supreme court and has written extensively about constitutional and federal courts law. he is the author of several books. we are very grateful for him to part -- for participating. andrew koppelman is the john paul stevens professor of law
at northwestern university. he received his bachelor's from the university of chicago and his jd and phd from yale law school. his scholarship focuses on issues at the intersection of law and political philosophy. he is the author of "defending american religious neutrality," and several other books. and more than 80 articles and scholarly journals. sherif girgis is a phd student in philosophy at princeton university and a jd candidate at yale law school. after graduating from princeton , where he won prizes for best senior thesis in ethics and philosophy, as well as the dante society prize, he obtained a degree from the university of oxford as a rhodes scholar. he is the author of a recent book "what is marriage,"
described as the most formidable defense of traditional marriage ever written. we are grateful to him for participating in this event. >> thank you so much for the introduction. thanks, everyone, for coming. a special thanks to professor koppelman. i have a pleasure of speaking on the panel with him before. i not only respect his work a great deal, but his election -- intellectual integrity. he is willing to examine the assumptions behind views a lot of people are willing to treat as dogma. that is something very admirable. to be moderated by professor fallon, whose casebook i have to read tonight, is a little bit surreal and very much an honor. because the discussion we're having today is is one that is not often had in the way we are having it, i thought it would be useful to just start by saying what i'm not going to say. it is very easy to hear what we
assume is associated with a view rather than what is actually being said. a quick summary of that is that i am not arguing for morality, from religion, or from tradition. none of my arguments presuppose anything about the moral status of gay relationships. there are lots of valuable relationships that do not get recognized as marriage by anybody. that cannot be the decisive factor. they do not rely on any particular religious tradition. if they did, it would still leave something to be desired because something i will defend today has been common to religions across time and many cultures. we would still want to ask the question of what common feature was motivating those theologies rather than the other way around. and i am not arguing that because it has always been this way it always should be. another thing is that my argument cannot be answered by appeals to equality. we usually think that this is
the right response when we think of the marriage debate as a debate about whether to expand or restrict a pool of people eligible for marriage. it is true that from that perspective it looks like marriage is a good thing and should be available on an equal basis. i think that this debate is actually about a prior question. a debate about what marriage is, and why the states involved in the first place, which has implications for which unions get recognized as marriages. my proposal is that the main vision of marriage on offer in support for same-sex marriage is mistaken. it is wrong about what marriage is. in other words, it cannot explain much less controversial features we all agree that sets marriage apart from other bonds. second, enshrining that different vision of marriage in the law and therefore over time in our public opinion and in culture and practice would be harmful to the common good, in
particular for the common good that gets the state involved in marriage in the first place. in light of both of those things, the mainstream argument for same-sex marriage actually has a lot of internal contradictions that are rarely examined and i think create just the kinds of problems for the same-sex marriage view that most proponents think in terms of justice. what is that vision of marriage on offer? you could think about it by asking, if we recognize a relationship of any two people in love but not other forms of relationships, what sets those apart? what is it that makes two men in love get married in new york different from two brothers who never stop living together, and who nobody would call married? when you think of it that way, you see what sets marriage apart is a certain kind of emotional union or intensity or priority. my claim is that that vision of
maryland -- marriage collapses the distinction between marriage and the much broader category of companionship. it cannot explain any of the less controversial features we both still agreed set marriage apart. for example, most of us think that unlike other forms of friendship, marriage has to be pledged to permanence. but if what sets it apart is that kind of emotional union or intensity of regard, there is no reason, none other than an irrational attachment to tradition, why we should pledge to permanence as opposed to remaining together as long as that union, that emotional union lasts. or sexual exclusivity. depending on temperament or taste, perhaps for some couples sexual exclusivity fosters emotional union, and for others some degree of agreed-upon
outlets would foster it better. that too, which most of us think is what makes a marriage, would be at best contingent. same thing is true of the idea of marriage as a union of two people. if the emotional union of a certain sort makes a marriage, it is true that two man as well as a man and woman can have it. but the same is true of three men. we are not talking about polygamy, but just the idea of plural marriage. "newsweek" tells us there are 500,000 polyamorous relationships in the us. i think there is no relevant distinction between those and two man in love. both have the emotional union and have what makes a marriage. even the idea that it is a sexual relationship, perhaps the least controversial part of most people's vision of marriage emma becomes harder to explain. if all that contributes to
marriage is a certain fostering of emotion and tenderness, then it is hard to see why sex is crucial, why it is not replaceable depending on temperament or taste, with other forms of activities or intimacy. that is some of the reason i think this marriage -- a vision of marriage gets marriage wrong. it misunderstands the human we have after. you might ask what difference it makes, why it is not just enshrined, this alternative vision of marriage in the law? i think to get a handle on that question we have to first ask why we recognize marriage at all. a puzzling thing. usually the less personal a relationship is, the more the state is involved. our business partnerships, but not so much our best friendships. why marriage? why that personally viable form of tenderness and lovely, rich? i think your history is a useful
heuristic. we have almost every society with -- socially regulating the sexual relationships with men and women. those sexually relation -- sexual relationships alone produce new human beings, require years of commitment from the parents. in order to reach physical and psychological and emotional maturity. every aspect of the common good, every institution of civil society, the economy itself, and the states, depend on that kind of maturity but cannot themselves provided. as well as the stabling commitment of a mother and father. that is what gets the state involved in marriage. it is the social need to promote the stabilizing norms. it is those very stabilizing norms that i say are undermined in principle, and then over time, in practice, as we
internalize the idea that marriage is just companionship, that it has no more internal requirements and companionship does, which is a very broader category. note what this highlights. this suggests that, if the norm of sexual complementarity is arbitrary, just a traditional holdover, then so is permanence. so is exclusivity. so is monogamy. why do i say that? very often people say, we can cross those bridges when we get there. you do not have to worry today about polyamorous relationships and so on. i think the logic of those positions does not allow that answer. the logic of their position is that what makes a marriage's emotional union is arbitrary,
requiring sexual commentary, which is not essential to that -- by the same token it is equally arbitrary to require permanence. this is not just a point conservatives make. it is one that is increasingly made by the leaders of the movement for same-sex marriage. dan savage, a very sympathetic "new york times" profile has in several pages talking about how the norm of sexual exclusivity is just as arbitrary and in some cases just as harmful as the norm of commentary. you have activists who are lgbt allied saying justice requires recognizing not just same-sex relationships, but multiple partner unions, multiple household unions, nonsexual unions, and so on. they in green -- agree
increasingly that if sexual c omplementarity arbitrary, so are other norms. they only disagree that disentangling this for marriage is a good thing. at this stage you might ask yourself, what is the alternative? what is this other vision of marriage? that is what we try to sketch at some length in the book, but i can give you a summary of it here. it is a vision that i think you might recognize as being reflected in the judeo-christian tradition, but also reflected to a great extent in the muslim tradition. not just in the monotheistic traditions, but also in the work of someone like gandhi. not just in western or eastern religions, but in the common law. in many phases of ancient greek and roman law. in ancient greece and rome, the
thinkers, socrates, aristotle, the stoics, people with no connection to judaism or christianity. that makes it worth listening to at least. the way i would summarize is that on this vision, marriage is a comprehensive union. in all the ways that make a community at all, the community we understand as marriage is comprehensive. any form of community, i think, is made by a union of a partner with respect to certain goods in the context of a commitment. it is activity toward common and. in those respects, marriage is comprehensive. the union is comprehensive that the levels of the partners united, not just heart and mind, but heart, mind, and body. bodily union means what it means within an individual. parts of my body or yours are one.
they are all actively courted native toward a single and -- end. that unity is possible between two people, but only the sexual act of a man and woman, where bodies are actively courted toward a single en,d, reproduction of the whole that encompasses an him both. a drama troupe is enriched or for filled by an aesthetic experience. a scholarly community by the pursuit of knowledge. marriage is fulfilled by the bearing and rearing of children. therefore, all the goods human beings are subject of. there again, the best way to make sense of that is on the traditional view. a man and a woman feel their marital love by the very act that also makes new life. the relationship of that act is itself fulfilled by the bearing
and rearing of children and the sharing of life that calls for a cross all aspects. because it is comprehensive in the dimensions of the partnerships united and the goods they are united around, it calls for comprehensive commitment, permanent and exclusive. this is the vision of marriage that i think make sense of loss of features that would make no sense -- lots of features that would make no sense in the other view. the requirement of consummation to complete a marriage, the idea that marriage has any inherent and stable connection to family life, that it inherently calls for permanence and exclusivity apart from subjective tastes or. the idea the state has an interest in it at all as opposed to other forms of deeper emotional bonds. it makes sense of these cross- cultural and cross-millennial, really, traditions. replacing that vision of marriage with a vision of marriage that is different not
only undermines those norms and makes them impossible to explain, but also over time makes them impossible to enforce. that in turn will hurt every common good that we recognize marriage in the first place to serve. thanks. [applause] collects ok. -- >> ok. for better or for worse, same- sex marriage is one of the most successful social movements in american history. outside the realm of political possibility as early as the 1990s, and now its victory is patently inevitable. it succeeded largely because its opponents have been so inarticulate and, this is the crucial part, they have remarkably failed to pass on their views to their children. my guess is that, i will not ask for a show of hands as to
who in the room is predisposed to agree with me and who in the room was predisposed to agree with sherif, because it just would not be friendly. i know. according to a gallup poll, 46% of americans oppose same-sex marriage. 53% are in favor. the percentage that supports has doubled in only 15 years. there is a huge generational divide. among people who are 18-29 years old, 73% support same-sex marriage. that number drops steadily with age. only 39% of those who are 65 or older support same-sex marriage. this is the result of a massive political shift. barack obama is the first democratic president to support same-sex marriage. he is also the last democratic president to oppose same-sex marriage. that will never happen again. republicans are painfully and grudgingly beginning to do
likewise. so, the book that sherif girgis has written is an important book. it is clear, tightly reasoned. it is a philosophical argument -- it is fun to read. now, there are some people who have argued against same-sex marriage because of the purported baleful consequences, a terrible effect on heterosexual families. these claims are parasitic on deeper philosophical claims. i will focus on the deeper philosophical claims. the central claim is that, the work he is offering comes out of the new natural law theory that has been held for some decades.
robert george of princeton, one of the co-authors of the book -- they argue there are some universal human goods. cross culturally universal goods. life, health, knowledge, friendship. i agree with them about this. their claim, though, is that marriage is such a good. a cross-culturally universal good thomas and it is a with its owno on value that the state did not invent and has no power to redefine. it's goodness arises, this is the core of his claim, arises from the bodily union that only a man and a woman can achieve. their challenge has always been to explain what the intrinsic difference is or could be between same-sex and opposite- sex couples. the response is the union of opposite-sex couples has an intelligible essence that same-
sex topples cannot possibly participate in. i will read from the new book. "man and woman, when they unite bodily, they coordinate toward a common biological and of the whole that the form together." this is something a same-sex couple cannot accomplish -- there is no bodily good or function toward which their bodies can coordinate. for biological union to occur, the bodies have to be cord needed toward something. in human bodies there is only one such biological oend. i am not sure this is true. there are some things that are things you can do with your body -- a biological function. singing, something you have to have your body do. i am not sure a chorus does not achieve bodily union. but this is a side issue.
a central objection is that this argument about bodily coordination cannot explain why the line is drawn and the way they have drawn it so that heterosexual couples who know themselves to be in for tile -- infertile are nonetheless in the charmed circle. a sterile person's genitals are no more suitable for procreation than an unloaded gun is for shooting. even if you thought there was something intrinsically wonderful about heterosexual union, why the lines would be drawn in the way they have drawn it. so then we get into an extended argument. i say, they address it to some extent in their book. their treatments are scrupulously fair and accurate. they claim, even in that case
the body is coordinating toward an end. when any couple, a man and a woman procreate, they do not know that on that occasion there is going to be a egg to be fertilized. the meaning of what they do now cannot depend on what happens later. a broken gone, even irreparably broken, is still a gun. that is not true of a pile of gun parts. the infertile heterosexual couple who unites achieves that good of unity, so the argument goes, in the same way that the couple who will actually fertilize a baby succeed in doing. here i have to say, there is a problem when one argues about good. alternately you need uptake on the part of the audience. the audience has to be persuaded that the thing being
argued for is in fact good. you just have got to see it. if i were trying to argue about the good of friendship, we agree that this is something cross-culturally good. if i was trying to persuade someone who has never had any friends and could not understand the point, it would be very tricky to try to get the person to see what we are talking about their. i am going to have to report my own limitations here. whatever the good the infertile heterosexual couple achieves does not seem to me as though it has got anything to do with the creation of babies. they argue the infertile couple 's unions is a viable part of a valuable whole, but i do not see what value there would be in deliberately assembling and irreparably broken gun in a way related to the function of shooting. maybe you want to do to it to
put it in a museum, but it does not have the goodness of this particular unity as a reason for action. it is a real question i want you to clarify. the argument also curiously fails to appreciate certain types of reproduction cord nations. there are a few dismissive lines about artificial reproduction in the book, but it is not clear to me why a couple engaging in artificial reproduction is not also coordinating toward the bodily good of reproduction. now, there are other aspects of the account of marriage that are, i think, mysterious. they say their view can account for monogamy, for example. i will read you a line from the book "spouses should have by commitment to exclusive and lifelong committee that the
ofts of the deat that the parts the body have by nature." i think this is a non sequitur. not to me is swell, but it does not follow from biological unity. one person can coordinate with a lot of others. if you study history, it has been done. [laughter]think of a chorus. lots of people coordinating bodily. now, the authors claim that ofess their standard marriage is widely shared, social pressures will diminish for husbands to stay with wives and children or men and women to marry before having children. they say only their understanding can save marital stability. as of the harm of same-sex marriage. "as more people absorb the idea of marriage, marriages will increasingly take on a motion o his tyrannical inconstancy --
in constancy." but look at the top economic quartile of americans, those most likely to endorse same-sex marriage. another reason why it would have been unfair for a show of hands -- this is harvard law school -- within that quartile rates of non-marital birth and divorce are basically what they were during the 1950s. you guys are likely to stay married. so those people evidently perceive a reason to control emotionally tyrannical inconstancy, which is not a region to -- reason to reject same-sex marriage because it is the same. i am an example. my wife and i together have -- have been together for decades. and i also think that the account of marriage in the book
is so novel and esoteric that it is hard to believe it has any effect at all on ordinary people's behavior. i will bet most of you are still trying to get it. they cite a few ancient philosophers who held ideas about marriage that were broadly consistent with theirs, but i do not think you will define this bodily unity lot in aristotle. philosophy is not about inclusion. it is about arguments. this really is a very novel example. let me say something about the alternative view, more precisely, the idea there is the alternative view and it is that of dan savage. i love dan savage, but i do not agree with everything he says. they claim that the alternate view holds that marriage has an essence and is essentially an emotional union nearly enhanced by whatever sexual activity the partners find agreeable. the logic of that view is that
there are no principled boundaries to marriage so it has to logically sweep into itself polygamist groups and celibates who happen to share a household such as brothers living together. they are right about the weaknesses of any rival evangelism. -- eventualism,. i think the right things to say that marriage is not essentially anything. it is a historical, cultural formation. it would not have arisen were it not the case that human beings produce sexually. that is how it came to arise. but it does not have any essence. there are regularities about it that ought to influence the weight married people behave. 99% of heterosexual couples report that they expect sexual exclusivity in their marriage. violations of it are rounds for divorce across lots of cultures. keep that in mind. but marriage might be a practice that suits needs but
can be modified freely as our understanding of human needs of all. the fundamental difficulty in the claim, i think, is the short distance from premise to conclusion. the union of the married, heterosexual couple is uniquely good because -- well, because the union of a married heterosexual couple is uniquely good. this intuition comes decorated with a complex theoretical apparatus, but the apparatus does not do any work. i think their book is a public service. i'm very grateful this book is out there concisely because this is the perspective that fewer and fewer american share and a of people find unintelligible. i think it is good for the country for people to understand their fellow citizens. right now there are a lot of
your fellow citizens who were being dragged kicking and screaming into the new world. it is good to understand what your fellow citizens are thinking. this is a lucid window into a dying world here. it is unlikely to persuade anyone who does not already agree with its claims, and it is not going to have much impact on its intended contemporary audience. but it really does have value in advancing our understanding of the landscape of arguments today. for that we should all be grateful to them. it will also be of enormous value to historians. thank you. [applause] >> i want to thank both the participants in this debate for giving very stimulating recitations. i've heard any number of people shout at each other about these issues over the years.
i have seldom heard a really valuable discussion before an audience such as this. i think we should all be grateful to them. i want to give you a chance to answer, but let me build first on something he said at the end. it captures somewhat the question i was going to ask. you began by saying your argument was not going to be a moral argument. you began, if i understood you correctly, saying you were going to explain what we might think of as the conceptual logic of the concept of marriage or what andy referred to in the end as what is essential to marriage. so i am just a little puzzled about how that argument can be made without being a moral argument. for example, suppose i say, i know a married homosexual couple, i know two men who
married each other here in the state of massachusetts. they are recognized by the state of massachusetts and have all the privileges of marriage within this date of massachusetts. one possibility in the purely conceptual view would be that due to the effect of when i say that i have echoed the state of massachusetts in making a mistake, what i have said could not be possibly true, it is as if the state of massachusetts issued dog licenses to. but the issuing of a dog license to a cat does not change it. a dog just is something. i think andy's point is that marriage is not like that. in order to determine what ought to count as marriage and what ought not to count as marriage, we do not -- we have
to make moral judgments. am i correct in that? if i am correct in that, do you want to take this opportunity to be a little more straightforward about what the precise moral argument you are urging is? >> what i began with was the argument does not depend on saying that same-sex relationships were a moral. -- immoral. the simple reason is we do not think marriage law is supposed to just contain married -- valuable and morally good relationships. we are all in relationships that are not recognized as marriage, and nobody thinks it is unjust for them not to be recognized. it is moral in the sense it is talking about a human good that the state is tracking and has reasons to track, but it is not moral in the sense of relying on a claim about the immorality of same-sex relationships or any other relationships. let me say a little bit about
the idea that there is something to marriage cross- culturally. i have heard very often, the frequent claim that it just cannot possibly have -- happen. i have heard that from professor koppelman. i think there are arguments for the other side of that question. let me go through a couple. you might at the most general level think there is something mysterious about the requirements of human good. but that view would quickly read into a really deep general moral relativism. it would be possible to him play -- explain human rights, the basis of justice, so often invoked against me, to explain anything, any normative claim we make. we might say it is more specific than that. there is a problem, not that it cannot be -- there cannot be objective criteria for anything , just that there cannot be for
a social institution like marriage. but andrew koppelman himself has contradicted that idea. he has agreed, and most of us would agree, that friendship is something, there is a good there, that you cannot capture unless you are bonded to someone else. it is nothing more since -- mysterious than that that i'm claiming about marriage. in light of that particular good, certain requirements arise theit, like loyalty in case of friendship and sexual exclusivity in the case of marriage. the reason i cited these other thinkers from ancient greece or rome or whatever is just to find people who you could not say were motivated by religion. they were not motivated by bigotry either because, well many of them were in highly whole rotted cultures in the sense that they were cultures -- highly homoerotic cultures in the sense they had nothing
against homosexuality, they were in a time of place -- time and place where the idea of sexual orientation in picking out animus against a class of people did not exist. it was not religious or property concerns. they were articulating a view of the human good and not will be law should be in the first place. they must have had an insight into the structure of marriage just as we might have had insight into the structure of friendship. a final point about the question is that most of you are probably committed to the views that entail the same thing, that there is an objective standard of what marriage is. if marriage was just whatever the majority said it was there would be no independent standard for saying a marriage law was unjust, that it unjustly excluded some relationships that are true marriages. you might say that it is just not sure, there is a cluster of social good that original might
serve, and those goods can evolve over time and so can marriage law. i would press the question again, which i have pressed in lots of venues and never heard -- heard a good answer. if you can give me a good answer, i will retract the whole book. it is a question of -- you are excited now. [laughter] we will make news right here. let's just take one simple example. the three men in love. there was one sympathetic profile of them, a three-person couple. they live together, are in love , share all the burdens and benefits of domestic life against an indefinite horizon. they do not want their relationship to be stigmatized as they raise kids together. they want to be able to be co-
owners to their goods if one of them dies. they think equality requires not excluding them and the relationship that they identify as most fulfilling for them from their general recognition. if there is no idea of what marriage is such that this is, however viable for them, not a marriage, then the only thing you can say against it is that it must have some social cost. social cost that is so great that it justifies violating what is otherwise a basic right. basic rights usually trump even great social cost. what could that be? there is no answer in what professor koppelman said or wrote. there has been no answer in the years we have been making this challenge. it draws people back to the point that there is a structure to marriage and the way that there is a structured a friendship. it is worth keeping those clear. even if non-friendship and her
actions or non-marital friendships can themselves also have a different and separate value. i will say one more thing by way of response to some of professor koppelman's points. if you take any difficult moral issue and drill down to bedrock, you will come up with complexity. arguments will not sound routine. they will be difficult. the law has to take a position on who the person is. if you look on the literature on personhood, whether you are with peter singer or robert george, it is difficult, complex, dense. that does not mean people do not have a rough grasp of the concept. that does not mean our law and the common good cannot depend on getting the concept right. for millennia, nobody has
seriously questioned the idea that commentary is part of the structure of marriage -- complementary part of the structure of marriage, and that recognition of this is crucial for the common good. the fact that we drill down and come up with arguments does not mean they do not try to make sense, does not mean they do not succeed in making sense of what on a rough level people understand. if you think romantic love is fulfilled in marriage and that what romantic love speaks to it, total union with the beloved, or if you think it inherently calls for permanence or exclusivity, or if you think as a rule it involves sexual union , the challenge of the book, it the first chapter, is to explain those facts that are pretty widely recognized. the later chapters try to show you that something like are viewed as explained and at some
level of generality it was shared by people whose views you cannot explain by bigotry or policy requirements or religion. i am afraid it is just a little confusing to say it is dense -- too easy to say it is dense or is not routine. because this challenge repost has never been met on the other side there are not equally articulate views of what marriage is such that it could be possible between two men but not between three. if you want, the challenge could be to write the opposite book. then we can compare them and compare intuitions and compare the degree of fit with history and our legal and social pact. i am confident it would do well in that case. >> i will try to be very quick because i want there to be time for some questions. what can i say? first of all, if the institution -- it is possible for a
institution to be socially constructive and still have rules, and for the institution to have objective concerns about justice. think about the game of chess, something they clearly of all but overtime. i am pretty sure the move of the knight him last because it is so odd. at some point they'd tried to decide whether to change the game that way. somebody proposed, let the queen move like the knight. this will not get resolved by principal. this will be resolved by the question of, well, in terms of the good of chess, are we going to him for the institution by changing it this way or not? that seems to be the way in which to have the conversation about this. the last thing i will say is of course we can still have a question about justice, even if the institution is socially constructed.
the law says it is still legal for a lack person and a white person to play chess together. of course that can be an object. >> let me put one question to you. sherif makes the charge that if you want to defend a vision of marriage that includes same- sex couples you have got to give some account of what the essence of marriage is, and that the prevailing understanding of public supporters of same-sex marriages that the the essence of marriage is emotional union. do you agree with that? >> no. the claim i have been making is that not everything has an essence. chest is not have an essence. we can still talk about it -- c hess does not have an essence. we can still talk about it. this is not an argument about essences. >> is this an improvement in the concept of marriage that
society has operated with, that marriage is now understood in a way that encompasses same-sex couples? >> it makes a lot of people better off and i do not believe it makes anybody else worse off. >> again, if you zoom in on the question of whether to give a particular household a particular benefit, the answer is there is always a reason to do it. there is always a reason to give a particular person a tax break or increase social status and so on. that is not the question. the question is, what are the competing pros and cons of enshrining in our law and therefore overtime in our hearts and minds one or another vision of what marriage is. is there a value, socially or otherwise, to preserving certain norms as constituting marriage as opposed to other forms of relationships? i think the best recent example of the implications of this question has nothing to do with
same-sex relationships. it is no-fault divorce. when i was busy gestating in the 1980s, people were arguing that no-fault divorce was a win- win. if a relationship has a high level of conflict, they want to get out of it anyway, nobody who has a happy marriage will avail themselves of no-fault divorce. but it is only a benefit for everybody. now the data is in a generation later. it is a very questionable claim. you have increasingly liberal as well as conservative people saying no-fault divorce did not just make it easier for high conflict marriages to break up, it changed what people thought they were getting into. it changed people's understanding of stability and security in marriage. it made them less likely to stick with it through medium level conflict, which studies suggest is over, pull -- ovwe ercomable.
the casualties were not just the spouses, but to sum significant and measurable extent their children. when we ask the question, we have to take it at the level it is proposed. as a policy question. what are the implications for the future and for future marriages in particular and the interest of those regulating it at all, of any proposed change? >> could you be more specific about what are the harms you see ensuing to whom? >> sure. basically, the state sends a couple different messages when it recognizes same-sex unions is equivalent in all important ways to opposite sex ones. what makes a marriage different from other bonds is -- essentially or just in our social convention -- is a certain kind of emotional union. a second thing it teaches is that mothers and fathers are replaceable for the purposes of parenting.
and that it is bigotry to suggest otherwise. sticking with those two things, you see a couple different harms. one is that the more people internalize that, the lower their internal motivations will be and the lower general social encouragement or pressure if you want to put it negatively will be, for example, for couples to stay together when you motion windsor wanders -- wanes oirr wn ders./ when they have been imbibing from their youth that the father does not contribute anything extend -- distinctive to children or their upbringing. there are harms. one we talk about in the book, to give you a sense, is if you define marriage by its degree or intensity of effective union -- affective union, you suggest that what is not marriage is simply y.
as a result, people who are unmarried or stay unmarried for whatever reason will find it harder, i think, to find deep emotional fulfillment in non- marital bonds. it will be socially less acceptable to find deep emotional fulfillment outside of marriage now that marriage has been defined by being simply the endpoint of this spectrum of closeness to another person. this is not something i am making up. you have seen an increasing literature about this, including more recently in "the new york times." "atlantic" writers made the point, drawing the same connection. there are lots of ramifications. there are ramifications of blurring the distinction between the marital form of community with someone else and companionship more generally. --to m or i'm getting this,
to make sure i'm getting this, the claim is children in future generations will be worse off and lots of other people will be were soft because they will find it harder than they would if we continued with the traditional definition of marriage to find close, enduring, emotional connection? >> outside of marriage, yes. and that in all those respects every common -- every aspect of the common good that depends on a healthy next generation will be hurt as well, which includes limited government, for the libertarians and the audience, and many other aspects. >> let's give andy one last reply three >> we are running out of time. >> we are eager to have questions. we are insisting you go to the microphone. would somebody go to the microphone there? there is one right there. >> you know you want to.
>> my name is david. thank you both for taking the time to come out. when i listen to your speech, i am a little bit confused by the notion of marriage having to have an essence. i suppose that to mean marriage is more a social recognition of a relationship that also carries legal benefits, you could leavit it to complementarity, but i also know it has to go beyond that, at least in the respect that the alternative you give, what about polyamorous relationships, that seems a little bit more objectively easy to reject. we do not want to abuse the legal benefits concern -- conferred on marriage. can you speak more on why couples who do not choose to have sex, couples who do not choose to be exclusive, or couples who are infertile or even, say, a man and a woman who do not have the requisite genitals, for instance, should
be allowed to marry well a homosexual couple should not have that legal recognition and that social recognition of their relationship? >> sure. this reminds me of something professor koppelman said that i want to address as well. there are two strands. one is, implicitly, you cannot possibly have captured a value of the category here. it is just about the equipment, as professor koppelman says. he point i want to make it you can do this with any view. i can say, if you only want to recognize sexual relationships, you think there is something special about climax. there is a way of putting it that undermines the value that proponents of that view say there is. that is not fair. the question is not that, but whether there is an accurate description of value. we did not to say heterosexual monogamous union is viable because it is valuable. he give you a general account of what marriage is about.
a bodily union, and then we have shown you how only the union a man and a woman form answers to that description. it is not circular. it goes somewhere. more specifically to your question, i think it is easiest -- you say polyamory is easier to answer objectively. and that this is an abuse of marriage recognition -- it would be like me coming up and saying, it is just a fact that entarity is essential. you might ask why the state's involved in this in the first place. if you do not think there is a human good that can be tracked in and objectives structure. if you think it is just the
fact that when people live together they have certain practical needs, which i also here, i can agree. i can say you are right. a lot of the things most often mentioned, i agree, people should have the right. but there is no reason that that should be limited to a sexual relationship. two brothers to live together and share the burdens and benefits of a home together should have those benefits as well. it would not require redefining marriage in particular to grant them. it would be unjust to do it because it would be too limited. if you do not believe in the idea that marriage has objective criteria, ask why the state is involved in the first place. that is another way of getting at what we think would have to converge with something like the conjugal view. sayndy, why don't you something in response to that well we look for a another to step forward to the microphone
to ask a question when andy is done? >> i think i have already -- >> why the state is in marriage at all? >> certainly, there are really two reasons. one of them, i will call it the henry smith reason. people are in these relationships, these relationships have public effects. they transact with lots of others. it facilitates transactions for everybody else to know what these relationships are. it facilitates relationships between the parties to know what these relationships are. in this sense the law of marriage is like the law of business corporations or the law of property, a one-size-fits-all set of rights. they probably do not fit a lot of people. part of the claims of same-sex marriages -- couples, they have
all the same reasons for wanting this legal recognition, household and children. the other arises out of something barely mentioned today. a long, messy history of discrimination against gay people, in that context excluding couples who look an awful lot like heterosexual married couples, from this institution. it partakes of that pattern of stigma and discrimination we are trying to move away from. >> you will get to respond to that. first, thanks. i know it takes a lot of courage and the circle you running, yale and harvard, to see the things you believe. i do not agree with you, but i respect that courage. my question is, we are in a room of people who can follow the philosophy behind your argument, which i do not think that is -- is that combo traded. if you look broadly at society, the technology that even if subconsciously people are in
tune with the philosophical points you are making they do not rationalize it that way. we live in a society where a recent study suggests that th os actuals are less anxious and depressed than on the whole heterosexuals. we live in a society where three years ago a school district in minnesota was struck by kindle where nine students killed themselves. five perhaps for reasons related to perceived or actual sexuality. we live in a society where symbolically marriage is involved with a number of philosophical points you have made. symbolically, a lot of people are against gay marriage because they are against gay relationships. that particular bias affects these children. and the children of gay couples. do you really think that in that complex -- context your philosophical argument, however valid, outweighs that brought societal symbolic perception, and the ability through transforming marriage to
perhaps the race anti-gay bias in a society that is rife with it? >> a couple quick points. i give her the question. the first thing is that one thing that is implicit in your argument is that the middle point on the spectrum is the one that is really difficult. if more people had something like a conjugal view of marriage, it is oriented to family life, whatever, the particular way, the less people would infer from it anti-gay anything. then the failure to recognize same-sex relationships would not be predicated on the idea that they are less worthy, but just that they are different forms of relationships. it is not any more of an insult and to not recognize them than to not recognize friendships. that may be an argument that could cut either way. either if you are going to support this view, do not stop there, but make sure there is more of an enshrining of this
general view of marriage so that people do not have to worry about anti-gay bias. that is my own position. i do not think -- in order to regain a foothold, to rebuild the other aspects of marriage culture. the second thing, i understand that -- the appeal of redefining marriage as a way of attacking anti-gay bias, but i think it is a blunt instrument. i think using marriage law as an instrument of inclusion, as a signal of approval or normality, would then only further drive into the margins of society people who for whatever reason, including personal reasons or choice or if they identify as a sexual or whatever, do not get married. i think the answer to bullying is to fight bullying. the answer to precedent is to affirm the equal diggity of every human being. well there may be some marginal benefits of redefining marriage
to accomplish that worthy purpose, not only would it have the collateral effects i'm talking about, but its bluntness as an instrument for that purpose would have bad, unintended effects. >> on behalf of all of us in this room, i am sure i want to take this opportunity to thank the two participants in this very informative conversation. thanks again. [applause] [captioning performed bynational captioning institute] [captions copyright nationalcable satellite corp. 2013]>> tonight on c-span, supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg talks about her judicial career. after that the canadian public affairs channel hosts a discussion on us-canada relations. then president obama on the impact of the sequestration budget cuts, followed by the leaders of the president's commission on fiscal responsibility, erskine bowles and alan simpson, on sequestration and debt and
deficit reduction. >> on the next "washington journal," i guess from the government accountability office talks about government operations and waste, fraud, and abuse. then megan hughes of bloomberg tv talks about sequestration, gun control, immigration, and healthcare. then a guess from the "christian science monitor" on her recent story looking at the rise of sales jobs versus green jobs. "washington journal" takes your calls, e-mails, and tweets, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> wednesday, a discussion on conflict resolution and -- he will speak about what is happening in iraq and afghanistan with the council on foreign relations. live on 12:30 p.m. eastern on c- span. >> if blockaded the principal
naval strategy, the principal naval strategy of the southern states is commerce raiding. one gone on a pivot right there between the mass. if you are going after ships, one is all you need. if you caught a merchant ship the idea was the idea was to, along side and put a prize crew on board, take it to a court, where eight chord could adjudicate it. sell it at auction, and you got to keep all of the money. but, of course, because it depends entirely on the profit motive, they paid the ship itself, supplies the feud, hires officers, he expects a return, and the crew expected prize money. without friendly ports where they could be condemned and then sold, you cannot make a profit. therefore, profiteering died out
almost immediately. it lasted about three months, slightly longer. an american entrepreneurs found out they can make more money blockade running. >> historian craig simons, part of american history tv, this weekend on c-span3. as we go next, a discussion with ruth bader ginsburg, a speaker at the 13th annual women and the law conference in san diego. justice ginsburg's talks about her experiences in law, including those coming of this year. >> i'd like to begin. can we all be seated, please? excuse me. can we all be seated? we have an interesting question and answer session with three
of our thomas jefferson school of law professors and students and justice ruth bader ginsburg of the united states supreme court. to maximize the question and answer time, i am going to minimize the introductions. if we do not know who ginsburg is now, i think we should not be in law school. ruth and i are very old friends. i have known her for 20 years. we met through a law program, which she attended four times. i had the honor of getting to know her every time she came a little bit better.
it is not only an honor and privilege but a pleasure to be with such a wonderful, warm, intelligent, caring, and sensitive woman. it is really wonderful. i now want to introduce rebecca lee, one of our professors. she is an associate professor of law as thomas jefferson school of law. one of the interesting things about this panel is we are all have a harvard connection. almost all of us, one way or another. she has a degree in public policy from harvard kennedy school of government and a law degree and is very involved in law and ken vanderbilt -- we do not need any introduction for ken vanderbilt. he is the reason i am here. he hired me. he was our former dean. he is a brilliant scholar of harvard law school.
he now has a ph.d. in american legal history. he is a funny, wonderful, sensitive guy who is also a great teacher. jennifer mcculluch --i was reading her cv. i want to be jennifer mcculluch. [laughter] i love this woman. she is a native texan, a graduate of the united states naval academy. she has not stopped helping people all of her life. she is an exceptional cross- country mission following hurricane katrina. it goes on and on. basically, this is a person who if you are in trouble, you want jennifer on your team. [laughter] i want to be jennifer when i grow up. what we are going to do for the session is have rebecca lee start with her questions and then ken vanderbilt, the second
question, and jennifer, the third question. we will proceed in that order until all 15 questions are answered. 5 and 5 and 5. ruth bader ginsburg will come to the podium to answer the questions. we will have this dialogue. ok. does that work? [applause] >> thank you. i learned that your dean was -- loves "the odyssey." so i would like to begin by quoting a line from a famous translation of "the odyssey." this is the story of a man never at a loss. when i met, 20 years ago, a woman who is never at a loss. [laughter] that is susan bisom-rapp. whatever the job is, give it to susan.
and she will do it. we will begin with the first question. >> it is such an honor and pleasure to be here with justice ginsburg. i thank the justice for her service as well as for spending some time with us and for her willingness to answer our questions. justice ginsburg, you are in your 20th. year on the supreme court after having served 13 years on the d.c. circuit. you had an equally important career as a lawyer before becoming a judge. you were a cofounder of the woman's right project at the aclu where you were general counsel and in that role, you litigated many important sex discrimination cases including six arguments in the supreme court of which you won 5. further, as a law professor at
columbia, you were the first tenured woman at the law school. you have been a leader throughout your career. do judges see themselves as leaders in some sense based on your observations? if yes, in what ways? if not, why do you think not? >> judges are reactive institutions. that is we do not have an agenda. we are not like a legislature or executive. we do not create the problems that come to us. there was a great judge that said, judges are like firefighters. justices are like firefighters. they do not make the conflagrations but they do their best to put them out. being on a court with a wide array of views -- i cannot project my views. i cannot try to be queen
because if i acted that way i would not be effective. you have to be able to work together with the team, have respect for your fellow members, be sensitive to their concerns, so there is on a collegial court a going tug the middle and a way from the extremes. so -- [laughter] is that going to adjust? and >> we will try to adjust that. [applause] >> what we can do is win a case comes to us, one can try to
teach the audience. i spoke about the lilly ledbetter case. that was one where i could -- even though i spoke in dissent -- to create a better understanding of what lily ledbetter's problem was. so i hope that answers your question in part. >> thank you. >> let me start off by thanking you for your appearance here today. that justice ginsburg. welcome back to thomas jefferson school of law. it has been a decade since we have seen you. it is great to see you. we are honored to have you. in keeping with the theme of the with a two-part question. the first part is this -- what qualities do you think a president should seek in a supreme court justice, particularly in our history?
-- at this time in our history? secondly, what do you think of prevalent in recent years of appointing easily confirmable justices without a track record that may invite controversy? >> what qualities should a president seek? someone who thrives in the study of the law, someone who is able to read and absorb quickly vast amounts of material, someone who likes the life of thinking, speaking, and writing.
i think those are the qualities the president should seek. it is the best and hardest job i have ever had. the one thing that as i grow older -- it is not as easy for me to do as it once was. i could extend my hours. they could last until i was finished. now, i have to let loose every now and then and sleep, as i did this morning. [laughter] i slept through three alarms. someone had to shake me and wake me up. the second part of your question was --
>> about appointing an easily confirmable justice. >> my most recent colleagues -- justice sotomayor and justice kagan -- were not that easily confirmed. they should have been. i hope for the day when we will get back to where the system was when i was dominated under stephen breyer was nominated. i was nominated in 1993, justice breyer in 1994. there was a bipartisan spirit prevailing in our congress. i was confirmed 96-3. i have said, nowadays, i wonder if the president would even nominate me because of my long affiliation with the american civil liberties union. yet in 1993, not one question was asked about my aclu connection, and among the people who voted for me was strom thurmond, who had opposed my nomination in 1980 two the d.c.
circuit but was in my corner or the supreme court nomination. i hope people will see that the way we are headed now is wrong. we should reverse gears and go back to the way it was when it was bipartisan support for the president's nominees. >> thank you for being here and giving us your time. someday when i grow up, i would like to be like you. [laughter] when you are a law school sitting in my shoes, did you expect to see a time when women would be appointed to the supreme court? if so, did you dream that you would be one of them?
>> in the ancient days, women were 3% of lawyers in this country. on the bench, they were barely there. the first woman appointed to a federal appellate court was florence allen, appointed by franklin delano roosevelt 1934. florence allen, she served on the sixth circuit. when she retired there were none until president johnson appointed shirley hostettler. she became the first secretary of education. then, there were none again. there was a president who changed the way things were. he trememndous deserves credit for that and that is president jimmy carter. he never had a supreme court
nomination to make, but he literally changed the complexion of the u.s. judiciary. he looked around at the judges and said, you know, they all look like me. [laughter] that is not the great u.s.a., so i am going to look for judicial appointees in places where no one looked before. i am going to appoint members of minority groups and women in numbers. president carter did that on the whole. i thinkthe american bar association ranked his appointees higher than his predecessors. he had only four years. he nominated and confirmed 11 women to court of appeals over 25 district courts. no president ever went back fully to the way it was. president reagan did not want to be outdone, so he determined
to appoint the first woman to the u.s. supreme court. he made a nationwide search and he came up with a superb choice in justice sandra day o'connor. i had hoped when i was in law school that i would be able to get the job as a lawyer. [laughter] you know, these were prix title seven days. -- pre-title 7 days. both harvard and columbia, many of them said men only. i do not know how many times i was told the story. "we had a woman lot -- lawyer once, and she was dreadful. [laughter] how many men lawyers did you have that did not turn out the way you want?
president jimmy carter. >> after sandra day o'connor retired, you were the only female justice on the supreme court until justice sonia sotomayor joined the corps in 2009. justice kagan followed, joining the court in 2010, now one of three women on the supreme court. can you talk about your experience of being one of two female injustices and now one of three female justices. >> the national association of female judges forecasted we would come, so they had that in
the fall of 1993. and they gave us t-shirts. i am sandra, not ruth. and mine said, "i am ruth, not sandra." every year i was on the chord with santer, invariably, one lawyer or another -- on the chord with sandra -- coart with sandra would call me that. when she left, it was lonely. it was really lonely. at least when she was there, she was a tall woman, and this left a rather small person.
until i was joined by justice sotomayor and justice kagan. and if you come to watch a case in the court these days, you will see a very lively bench. my sister is on the court are not shrinking violets. they are very active participants in the arguments, and i do think that justice sotomayor is in competition with justice alito to see you can ask the most questions. [laughter] [applause] it looks like we are there to stay. we are not curiosities. >> justice ginsberg, i want to
go back in time to the 1970's, when there was a strong effort to amend the constitution with the people rights amendment, an amendment that ultimately was unsuccessful, and i am wondering from your perspective from someone engaged in the issue of gender equality whether you believe the failure of the equal rights amendment has a long-term impact on the cause of gender equality or whether, ultimately, the necessary tools have been found in the equal protection clause or other parts of the constitution, and then i guess the second part of that, i am wondering how you feel as a pioneer in equality about the progress made today it and what you believe may be the principal barriers to progress in the future. >> that is a multi part question. [laughter] let's start with the era. it was nothing new.
it was first framed by the national women's party. it was the more progressive wing of the women's movement, the women's suffrage movement, women who were not content with the vote, but they wanted full equality, so they introduced the equal rights amendment in 1923, and it was introduced every year thereafter. it did not take steam until martha griffith from michigan took it on as her cause, and when she did, she said there is nothing that this amendment seeks to accomplish that could not be done if the courts would interpret the equal protection clause the way they should interpret it, to include all people and not just some. still, the era was a very important symbol, and i hope it
will one day become part of the constitution for a simple reason. if i am addressing a class of schoolchildren, and i can point to the first amendment and protection of freedom of speech and of the press, there is no statement that men and women are citizens, are people of equal stature before the law. there is no such statute in the constitution. in every constitution, even those of the most oppressive of women, there is that statement. i think that statement belongs in our constitution of.to say that this is a value as fundamental as the ones that are already enshrined in the constitution, so it may be just a symbol, but it is an important
symbol. as far as what the courts have done, susan gave me a book to sign from the civil rights commission. this was in the middle 1970's. we were going through the united states code, identifying all of the laws that differentiated on the basis of gender. almost all of those are gone. there are a few in the immigration and nationality area, but for the most part, in state and federal law books, that discrimination is gone. what remains i can perhaps best explain by remembering what it was like to go to a symphony orchestra concert when i was young. you never saw a woman in the symphony orchestra.
some brilliant person but of a simple solution to the problem. they would drop a curtain between the addition there's and the person who was being auditioned. and with that, with the addition there is not knowing whether it was a man or a woman playing, suddenly, the appearance of women in symphony orchestras grew and grew. i was telling this story at a music festival not long ago, when a young violinists said to me, but missed one thing. we auditioned shoeless. so the judges will not know that if a woman is coming on stage. and unconscious bias. people see a woman, and they
assume. there was a music critic for "the new york times," to balance sheet -- he could tell the difference between a woman's playing and a man's player, and then they put him to the test, and he failed miserably. it is the unconscious bias. there was a great case in the 1970's brought by my colleague at columbia, harriette, and it was about positions for women in middle management. the women did find on the various tests up until the last one, and the last one was the total person test. that meant there was an interviewer. interviewing the candidate for promotion. and women failed disproportionately at that stage. why? it was not that the interviewer
intended to discriminate. it is just that he felt comfortable with someone who looked like himself. he could trust that person. the woman was different. so it is getting past the unconscious bias that exists, that still exists that is a high hurdle to overcome, and the other that has been mentioned at this conference is work-life balance, to have a family life in which thrive and a work life, and i was blessed to be married for 56 years to a man who was my partner and everything. when my daughter was born, the idea that the child's personality is formed in her first year of life, so he was
the primary feeder, and he learned that that was not necessarily so, but in any event, all of my life, he has been my biggest booster. and i am happy to see that in my children's lives. their marriages are in that way, as well. they are two parents, two parents who have worked lives that they thrive in. >> with a harvard law school, i was told i would not make it to the navy flight program or make it through the program. however, having made it, it is an attitude for women in the
aircraft. however, the attitude can be better. >> jennifer, i would like to tell you a story so you will know how far we have come. we have not gotten all of the way, but one of my favorite clients was a captain in the air force, susan. i had hoped that her case would be the first reproductive freedom case to reach the supreme court. this was the captain's story. she was serving in vietnam when she became pregnant. this was 1970. and she was told by the commander of the base, "susan, you have a choice. you can get an abortion on base
," which many military bases offered to women or dependents in the military service at that time, it "or you can leave the service." and susan said, "i cannot have an abortion. i am roman catholic. but i would use only my accumulated leave time for this birth." "i have made arrangements to have the child adopted at birth." pregnancy was a moral and administrative grounds for discharge, and that was that. so susan was sent back to the west coast, where she was represented by the aclu of the state of washington brilliantly. they managed to stave heard discharge month by month.
she lost in the district court. she lost in the ninth circuit, but with an excellent descent. [laughter] the supreme court took her case, and the then-solicitor general, who had been the dean of the first law school i attended, he saw real damage potential for the government in susan's case, so he convened the military brass, and he said that whirl about pregnancy being automatic grounds for discharge, that is not right for our time. you should immediately waive the captain's discharge and then change the regulation for the future." and that is what happened. now, the law students know what that meant for our case. the government had given susan everything she was asking for.
so the government then immediately moved to have her case dismissed as moot. i call the captain and said, "is there anything you are missing?" and she said, "well, i am now -- not out any pay. i would not choose to be assigned to this air force base, but -- all of my life, i never dreamed of becoming a pilot, but the air force does not give flight training to women." well, this was in 1972 we had this conversation, and we laughed, because we knew then it was an impossible dream, that the air force would give flight training to women. now, it would be unthinkable for them to reserve flight training for men only, so you see we
have, a long, long way. >> regarding the courts deliberation process, has the presence of three women on the supreme court now alter the ways that the members of the court think about and discuss the cases that come before them and, perhaps, in how they decide them? >> i should start with a quote from a minnesota supreme court justice. justice o'connor and i have often referred to. at the end of the day, a wise old man and a wise old woman will reach the same judgment. now, i have to follow that up by saying that we each bring to the table our own life experience,
including for the three of us having grown up female, and we can help our colleagues understand some things they might not understand some things as well if we were not there. there was one case in particular a few years ago about a girl, a 13-year-old girl, who was suspected of having what turned out to be an andvil, ibuprofen. she was suspected of having pills. they took her to the girls' bathroom. they strip searched her. and her mother was incensed to find out what had happened to her daughter. so she brought a case in 1983
against the school officials, and when that was argued before the court, some of my colleagues made light of it. one of them said, "i remember being in the locker room when i was a 13-year-old boy, and we did not think anything of changing our clothing," and i said in the courtroom, "there is a difference between the 13- year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, and the embarrassment that batgirl felt, -- that batgirl felt," and the joking stopped, and they realized it -- that the girl felt. " it was terrible to do that to a young girl, and, of course, she
won the case. [laughter] >> last year, the nation was riveted by the court argument and decision in the independent business case, the case that upheld the individual mandate provision of the obama health- care reform legislation. and i am wondering, for those of us who are observers of the court, apart from the holding in the case, what lessons might we learn from the experience of that case? >> i hope it is a case that will be taught in law school. i fully expect that my dissent, saying that this legislation was in the commerce clause easily, that will someday become the law of the land.
i was astonished, frankly, at the majority view about that case, but i think it is a wonderful teaching tool for students. and, as you know, the lot in the mean was upheld. the chief justice decided that it did not fit within the commerce power, but the tax power was a very broad, so the penalty was, in fact, a tax, so it was upheld. on that basis. i do think that commerce clause ruling will turn out to be an aberration. and you can compare it to the way it was before 1937.
when the court, , lee reliford -- referred to as nine old men, and there were striking down -- when the court was referred to as nine old men. they were striking down legislation. but then the social security act was passed, and in 1937, the court upheld it. and i thought that social security in 1937, health care in 2012, they surely should go the same way. so i said i fully expect that my view, which was shared by three of my colleagues on the commerce clause, it is the one that has staying power. so.
[laughter] >> do you have any unfinished business in your career, both on and off the court? >> well, i am going to do this job as long as i am able to do it. [applause] but apart from that, i am not going to write any book. there will be books written about me, like it or not. hopefully, i would prefer not, but -- [laughter] i have already mentioned that i would like to see in my lifetime that women get fired up about the equal rights amendment so we will have that in our
constitution. i would like to see an end to the discrimination. but being a judge, it is a pretty good job to have. think of my colleague, it justice john paul stevens, who remained on the court until he was 90 and is still an avid golfer and tennis player. he has recently written a book, not about himself but about the fight cheeps -- heiefs -- chiefs that he has known, to the time he retired from the court. so next question. [laughter] >> justice ginsburg, you have had an amazing career and are
leading our legacy in the law. although there is still more to do, looking back, is there anything you would do differently? >> it is a question i do not ask myself, and i will give you two pieces of advice i was given in that regard. when i was a brand new judge on the d.c. circuit, one of my colleagues said, "worth, i have been at this business a long time -- ruth, i have been at this business a long time, and there is one thing i would like to in party. do your best in each case, but when it is over, when the opinion is out, do not look back. do not worry about things that have passed. go on to the next case and give
it your all. " that corresponds to advise that my mother gave me, which she sum it up in the phrase "be a lady," and by that she meant do not allowed distracting commotions to overwhelm you. anger will get you nowhere. jealousy is even worse. and remorse, these are all motions that sap your energy and do nothing productive. so i do not look back. i do look forward to what is on my plate each day. >> justice ginsberg, you have dissented in some of the court's most controversial and far-
reaching decisions in the past couple of decades, and i have in mind, for example, bush v. gore, the case that halted the balloting in the presidential election, and citizens united, the case that invalidated the ban on corporate campaign expenditures. in cases such as these, cases where the law takes a sudden turn in a different direction in a different area. a very different result. >> first, let me comment on bush v. gore. it was one of its kind. the court has never decided that opinion in any other case, and i trust that it will forever remain that way.
it happened. it was over, and that is it for bush v. gore. [laughter] and citizens united is something else. i was trying to say, as i descended, that that was a very wrong decision, but a great man once said, "it ain't over til and the court will have a chance to think about its error. think about the dissents in the 1920's. today, those are a lot of the land. so when one is on the descent side, -- dissent side, you hope
your descent -- dissent will affect legislature. the only thing that would change it is if the court will overrule its decision. then you write the descent -- dissent, with a correction of the error into which your colleagues have fallen. [laughter] >> just the other part of the question, do these cases ever cause worry about reputation, or that you might describe that the court's reputation remains intact? >> we all care very much about the institution, and we want to leave it in as a good shape as we found it. the supreme court, i think, is
unique in the world. when i have met with high court judges from other places, i am sometimes asked, "well, sometimes we of the judgment, and we say it, and then the government does not follow it." think of some of the key decisions in the supreme court. think of the seizure case, when they said to president truman that he could not take over the steel mills, give them back. and immediately, the president ordered the mills returned to their owners, or even a more recent example, a very dramatic example, president nixon is told not by the supreme court but by a federal district court judge, "i need those tapes as evidence in a criminal proceeding. turn them over." the president did, and he
resigned from office the next day. and we know that is a very precious thing that we have. even bush v. gore. so however wrong i thought the decision was, there was no rioting in the streets. people accepted the transition, he would be our president, and life went on. so -- one thing that the press seldom notices, yes, we divide 5-4 in some very important cases, but we are more often unanimous. thank goodness for the ordinary cases that we hear that do not divide along party lines. so, yes, we are very much concerned about the reputation
of the court, all of us. >> how difficult of a transition was it for you from an advocate? >> i do not think i made the transition. [laughter] you are always hoping to persuade your colleagues, and sometimes, you are successful. some years ago, my senior colleague signed a dissent to me. in the fullness of time, the decision came out 6-3, and my decision was the decision for six. you are hoping that your dissent is going to be so powerful lee persuasive that you will pick up another vote.
it does not happen very often. it is rare, but hope springs eternal. [laughter] so -- >> you mentioned some things you would like to see changed in the future. for example, resurrecting the equal rights amendment. thinking about the way the supreme court carries out its work, in particular, is there anything you would like to see changed in your time or beyond? >> there is one thing i would like to not see changed. the supreme court is a rather old-fashioned institution. when we sit down at our conference table, it is not like law school. there is not a laptop in the place. there is only a pad of paper and a pencil to take notes with. it is about the last place in town, the town of washington, d.c., where the office holders
actually do their own work. [laughter] [applause] we do not have a large staff. in my chambers, i have four law clerks and two secretaries. it is that small, just eight of us. go to a congressional office, and you'll find huge staffs. so that way of operating i hope will never change. now, some things, people complain that we allow only half
an hour. for argument. per side. i do not think we would benefit from more time. after all, it is the written part. it is what the judges and the courts that have previously heard have said. it is the right thing that we start with, and it stays with us when we go back to chambers, so oral argument, while it is important, it seldom determines the outcome. of a case. so i would not like to change that. one question, you did not put this in your question, but i am often asked what about cameras in the court room. some federal courts do allow cameras.
i think it would be as wrong as can be for a trial court to allow a proceeding to be televised unless the defendant once the cameras. -- wants the cameras. televised, people will get the wrong impression of the appellate process. as i said, is mostly the writings. they think it is about who will win. that is one concern. i do know that many courts, including the supreme court of the united kingdom, the lords, they do televise their proceedings. and, perhaps, it is inevitable that that will be part of the
way the supreme court operates. but that will come later rather than soon. >> i am very sorry to say that i have reached my last question. you will not be surprised that it is a multi part question. [laughter] thinking back over the last to go in a decade that you have been in the or, what do you think have been the most important decisions during that time, and secondly, what do you think has been the impact of those decisions on the country and on the court approved -- court? >> citizens united is probably the most important in that the court had an opportunity to stop
making elections turn on who can raise the most money. that opportunity was passed, and as i said, i hope that someday, that decision will be overturned. and rather than talking about the past, it will be a very important year for the court. we heard in october a case involving the affirmative action plan of the university of texas. you will remember a famous, i think it was 1948, a cave -- a case where they had no education
for african-americans. they created a separate and highly unequal law school. that is the way the university of texas once was. now, they are enthusiastically pursuing a diverse student body. that is the case we heard in october. this very month, we will hear a case involving the voting rights act, initially passed in 1965, and now recently renewed for 25 years by overwhelming majorities, both parties in congress. it is being challenged in our court, but i should tell you what the voting rights act does, for those who do not know. in states and some parts of states, they did not admit
african-americans to vote. they used various devices to keep them from the polls. those states cannot change their election laws without either getting pre-clearance from the attorney general or from a three-judge federal court in the district of columbia. now, alabama has brought a case to was that says it has been a long time since 1965. there is no reason why we should be treated any differently than, say, a county in maine. we do not have classes that keep people from the polls anymore. so, chord, please declared the extension of the voting rights act unconstitutional. there is that case. another one involves taking dna
samples from everyone who is arrested. not all people that are arrested are convicted, but that is another case, and then in march, we will hear two cases. one involves proposition 8 from california. the california supreme court having held that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. people in california amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. there is that constitutional amendment to the state constitution. is that compatible with equal protection clause. and then we have the defense of marriage act the next day, passed by congress, saying for federal purposes, same-sex
marriage is not recognized, and that means that all the federal benefits, like being able to file a joint return, the marital deduction, social security benefits on your spouse's account, you do not get those if your partner is of the same sex. and also, we have another clause that says every state has to respect the judgment of every other state. but that clause does not oblige state, say, north dakota does not have to recognize a marriage from massachusetts, from new york, from the other states, so those are two tremendously important cases. it is going to be -- people thought last year was a blockbuster term.
this year will exceed last term. >> can i ask a question? >> yes, susan, you may ask a question. >> i have two questions. [laughter] the first is this. we have many law professors that write law review articles. what would you recommend to professors and students to write law review articles to put in articles that would be more helpful to supreme court justices >> there are two. there are the kind that law professors are writing for their own ground, other law professors. they are riding in a language that is not accessible to us, and one thing i tell my law
clerks every year, lawyers and judges are very busy people. they do not have time to be read a sentence or paragraph, so every sentence that goes into my opinion has to be something that can be absorbed in one gulp. it does not have to be read again. i should say that there are some celeste friel articles written by law professors. maybe they want you to ponder over what they meant. maybe they are considering that they're operating on a high philosophical plane. the best thing i can have if there is a hard issue is a law professor's analysis of that field, so i try to find out when we have a case in a new area, is there something written about this that pulls together the
various threads. often, i cannot find that, but when i do, it is a gold mine. >> the second question is, if you were a constitutional law professor, what would be the five most important cases that you would discuss in the i wille been number one candidate and see if you agree with me. not bmi. way back. marbury. you got it. until then, the supreme court was not very highly thought of. the first chief justice, john jay, went off to england to negotiate a treaty.
he was elected governor of the state of new york. all things considered, this court is not going anyplace, i would rather be the governor of the state of new york. then came the great chief justice marshall and he said that the courts have the power to review ordinary legislation for compatibility with the nation's highest law, the constitution. that was something judges were not doing all around the world. until after world war ii, when new constitutions installed some form of judicial review for constitutionality. we were the only court doing that. the great marshall took a country that consisted of seven jealous states and helped
wheeled them into one nation and he made the court the important institution that it has remained. my second -- that necessarily second. lovey against virginia. people take brown was the big case in 1954 but it wasn't until 1967 that the court said -- set a ban on an interracial marriage violates the equal protection clause. it is not that long ago, the least by my standards. that was the case of major
importance. there were people who express views about other cases. i heard -- miranda i think is a great case. it made it easy for the police. all they had to do was to give the four warning and then they knew if they got a confession, it would be ok. one of the things about miranda and it's staying power is that chief justice rehnquist was a great critic of miranda but when it came to the question, should be overruled, he wrote the decision that said no. miranda has become part of our
culture and the way police must behave. and this court is going to adhere to miranda. so i think that was a decision of major importance. so you want two more. let's hear from --[inaudible] griwold was the case that said connecticut law, banning the use of contraceptives, is unconstitutional. so girswold started the line that ended up with roe v wade. i would rank that a case of major importance.
[indiscernible] yes. that was -- it wasn't that long ago. the first time that question came to the court was the 10th of the commonwealth of virginia. it was a frontal attack on a law that made consentual sodomy a crime. it and was not that kind of a grandstand play. it involved flesh and blood of real people. and a story that could be told. and the court in lawrence, texas, tells that the texas law
making consentual sodomy criminal was unconstitutional. one of the reasons i am fond of that decision was that he referred to a leading decision of the european court of human- rights. i think the european court of human rights decision was in the early 1980's. but he was say8ining this is recognized as a human rights by the european court and how out of it to the united states be not to recognize that? justice kennedy had been criticized for referring to far in law in that but i think he
did just the right thing in acknowledging that there are other places in the world interested in the promotion of human rights and that we should listen and learn from them. so i think we have five. [applause] >> we have about five minutes left. >> i wanted to say that jennifer did not get her last word theory >> i am sorry. >> if you want to ask, please go ahead. >> what advice would you give a young woman entering the law profession? professor banda built, what can
be learned from your personal experience from a member of the bar and the bench? >> the major thing is something i try to impart last night. i have had endless satisfaction from everything i have done in the law, from being a law student to a law clerk to a lawyer to a law teacher. but always i did something other than what i was paid to do. you will have a skill that will enable you to make things a little better for your community, your state, even your world. with this skill that you will achieve attending law school, i hope that all of you will spend
part of your time thinking about people who need your help and offering its to them. so jennifer has had a last question and now we can -- [laughter] >> if everybody would like to make justice ginsburg's wish come true, i have a petition to sign to get the koretz amendment -- to get the equal rights amendment. they want to revitalize the 1972 equal rights amendment asking congress to extend the deadline to get the last three
states to sign it. which i knew -- i do not think was ever going to happen. >> it should have a new start. >> i have a question of free speech. the was a protester at the inauguration. he was screaming about abortion. we thought his space should be limited -- his speech should be limited. how do you feel about that? >> i was not sitting where you
were. i was up -- [laughter] i must say looking around the world and at countries that punish speech that is out of a chord with the thinking of the powers that be, i am glad we prize speech, we protect even the speech we hate. one thing concern with the police to get him down from the tree without being injured. we have protests at the court all the time. i denied it to see them because my chambers are in the back but kagenas kagen -- justice has a front row street for every
demonstration. as long as they are not idangering anyone's safety, hope we will continue to preserve their right to speak and speak speak not like -- right to speech we do not like. [applause] >> i want to tell you one incident. justice brennan died. he was a good catholic and there was a funeral mass for him. there were demonstrators protesting that he was getting a catholic burial when he had voted for the cable decision roe v wade and i thought to myself
what would he have said were you there. he would say let them demonstrate. they are just exercising their first amendment rights. >> [cell phone disturbance] >> that might be me. continue on. i am so sorry. i have been told by the powers that be that this session is over but there is good news. there will be a reception outside this auditorium and if you have any specific questions, i am sure justice ginsburg will be happy to answer them.
thank you offer such great questions -- you all for such great questions. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> all this week with the senate on break, we are bringing new book tv in prime time. once they come and look at authors memoirs and biographies. at 8:00, supreme court justice sonia sotomayor. and cyth -- cynthia helms. book tv in prime-time all this week on c-span2. >> while congress is on break, we are featuring american history tv on prime time on c- span3.
wednesday, a conference of presidential history. at 8:00, scholars on how academics can embrace a high public interest in a presidential history. at 9:55, the leadership styles of president's friend and roosevelt, gary truman and dwight eisenhower. american history to be in time -- in prime time on c-span3. >> from the start we told the board that the approach we were going to take. we were sent there to weregm. -- there to dix gm. fix gm. we were all focus. we were going to move quickly. we need your support, your input. so we changed a few things about a board meeting. we shorten them considerably.
we stayed away from the details and did i get into the weeds on how you build a car but the bigger questions of financing, more routes,. position,, the board was very supportive of that. we kept them informed. we just took off. >> leading general motors to bankruptcy and the government got out -- a government bailout. on "american turnaround." part of a book to be this weekend on c-span2 -- part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> if discussion on u.s.- canadian relations. -- a discussion on u.s.-canadian relations. the conversation on energy, the environment and trade issues is 2 hours.
>> hello and welcome to washington. the capital of canada's closest neighbor and ally and canada's biggest trading partner. the evolving relationship is why we are here. we are live at the newseum, located on america's main street, pennsylvania avenue, between the white house and the u.s. capitol building. the same stretch of real estate where you will find the canadian embassy, a testament to
the closeness of the relationship between our two countries. welcome to those of you watching us on c-span and welcome to our audience here. i am peter van dusen from cpac. it is great to have you here with us this evening. we have come to washington for the second time in as many years. a lot of change in two years. a lot has changed in two months. tonight our topic is -- canada- u.s., what is the future? i think we can expect a lively conversation. this is the latest in the continuing collaboration between cpac and mclean. we have brought guests, all people plugged into the issues we are dealing with this evening.
danielle droitsch is the director of the canada program for the national resources defense program. she has worked in canada and united states for various environmental organizations. she is a former reporter and lawyer. gary doer is canada's ambassador to the united states. he has been recognized by business week magazine as one of the world's top 20 international leaders on climate change. his job in washington is to represent canada's interests here. maryscott greenwood is a senior managing director in the washington office of a law firm. she is also the senior adviser to the canadian and american
business council and has served as a u.s. diplomat at the end of the canadian capital. john manley is the chief executive of the canadian council of chief executives. he is a former canadian deputy prime minister, minister of finance, foreign affairs and trade and industry. he lead canada's response to the 9/11 attacks. paul wells is a former senior official with the u.s. energy department and was involved in negotiations for the u.s.-canada free trade agreement. luiza savage and paul wells. we will hear from all our guests and from our studio audience later. let's take the next five minutes and bring context to this situation.
[video clip] >> on almost every level, the u.s.-canada relationship, though occasionally confident by the art storm, as the envy of the world. the world's largest two-way trade, mostly predictable allies and always dependable friends. some major changes on a rise and could present new challenges for the relationship. let's begin with energy. now nearly all of canada 's oil and gas exports are to the united states. that represents about 10% of u.s. energy needs. that's about to change. >> after years of talking about it, we are poised to control our own energy future. >> some experts predict united states will be energy and attended by 2035.
how will that affect canada's $40 billion oil patch and will energy independence mean for u.s. foreign policy? what does it mean for pipelines? the canadian government is anxiously awaiting a decision from the white house on the proposed keystone xl pipeline. it would carry oil nearly 2,000 miles to refineries on the u.s. gulf coast. john kerry, who long campaigned to cut greenhouse gas emissions, will ultimately recommend the approval or rejection of the pipeline to the president. he is not tipping his hand on where he stands on the project. >> we have a legitimate process on the way and i intend to honor that. >> those pipeline opponents gathered in washington by the thousands, calling on the
president to reject keystone. >> if you let this pipeline go through, the first thing it runs over is the credibility of the president of the united states of america. >> what about the president himself? his recent comments on climate change suggest he is losing enthusiasm for the program. >> we must do more to combat climate change. >> strong action by canada on greenhouse emissions might soften opposition to the keystone project. >> the fact is the more that all of us do to strike that right balance between energy and the environment and climate change, the better off we can be. >> we are doing our part. i think the u.s., my
counterparts are fully aware of how committed canada is to adjust climate change. >> is the president looking for cover from canada to approve the pipeline? canada and the united states have a long history of harmonizing environmental policies. but will canada follow suit if this president leads an aggressive new campaign against climate change that could hurt the canadian economy? >> if congress will not act soon to protect future generations, i will. i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy. >> what about trade? two years ago the president and prime minister met. the new vision according to many has been mostly sidelined
because the white house has had its sights set on america's budget woes instead. >> my only complaint about the united states is we pay a lot of attention to you, you sometimes did not pay enough attention to us. >> canada and the united states shared nearly $700 billion in two way trade in 2011. the united states is still the largest market for canadian exporters. experts predict a 2020, the united states will account for two-thirds of canadian exports. down from 85% a decade ago. canada's future prosperity will be driven by trey from countries other than the united states.
the u.s. is looking beyond canada. >> we will launch a transatlantic trade partnership with the european union. trade that is fair and free across the atlantic supports good american jobs. >> what the european union really wants is a deal with united states. on energy, the environment, trade, a decade of the most harmonious relationship between the u.s. and canada giving way to something closer to rivalry? >> so and number of different questions raised in that piece
to get our conversation started. we will hear our guests in a moment. but we will kick off with paul wells. >> you know these field trips we make take some planning. the morning papers debate about whether the keystone pipeline will go through. what it comes down is the president has a decision to make. our american hosts might not be aware of this decision about the keystone has transfixed canadian politics over the past year and a half. when mr. obama became the president, there were high hopes on the canadian side for help the relationship between the two. their politics are not similar but there from the same generation and there are both outsiders.
unfortunately over the first two years of the obama presidency, it became clear they are not alike and do not agree on anything. tosident obama's decision delay on the keystone. mr. harper implemented a major pivot and a canadian trade policy away from the united states and toward china. he dropped the keystone as a party and picked up another pipeline, nor the way, which seeks to ship oil to the pacific coast so we can go to china. there is possibility president obama can fix the relationship by deciding to proceed with the key some pipeline but there's also a possibility is too late. and that our government has moved on. from what i have read, the decision the president has to make is tricky.
it is not clear how it will go. does that sound right to you? >> when i look at the future of canada-u.s. relations, i see it as two separate planes and they go in the opposite directions. the best analogy is that they are headed towards an open marriage. you have these two partners and they started out with this great, fat wedding. a great honeymoon, everything was great and exciting. now we are at a point where people are looking around for sexier partners. they are looking at china and seeing the appetite their fair energy.
they are looking at the rest of asia and europe and seeing attractive opportunities elsewhere. there is this other piece of their relationship, security. that has to do with protecting not just the borders from terrorists but on -- everything from protecting children from lead in their toys, the quality of water, the environment. all these things, they still have to come back, saturday morning and deal with these household issues. the only way to do it is to work more closely together. you can't secure your infrastructure without working together. i see these two different directions.
as these countries are working together, they keep coming up against the bottom line limit for each country. the united states said we feel the need to import a passport requirement at the border. canada said that will ruin trade and tourism. and said no, this is where we draw the line. the same thing goes for cooperation on border security were canada has issues of privacy protection and this a this is where we draw the line. that is how i see the keystone debate. a line drawing exercise for the united states. they are having a domestic debate about what role carbon and energy will play in the future, how they will balance tracking and climate change and to additional sources of energy against alternative energy.
that is all being worked out by other presidents. i do not see it just as about the relationship. does the prime minister let the president today? in the broader context of working out limits we cannot talk to each other out of. >> let's start with gary doer. how do you see the future? >> i don't believe in an open relationship. i cannot keep up with the racing comments of my colleague but i do believe it is like a company in terms of our relationship on trade. you have to take care of your biggest and most important customer first but you should not just have one customer. you should then go to a car dealership and not go to another car dealership and get a better price.
we are always getting different unilateral decisions. by increasing our trade to asia, 20% one year, 20% the next the year, we are stronger as a housing market rises in the united states and in terms of negotiating peace in trade agreements. and we are more diversified in terms of our customers. that does not mean you first take your biggest customers. on trade, i see it in a multi dimensional way. but you start with the largest customer base. in terms of the land we share, we have worked together over the generations of cleaner air and water. the start of the 16 countries and now is at 165 countries.
copenhagen, both the prime minister and the president attended the summer of 2009 signed on to the same 17% reduction by 2020. which was a positive development. we worked together on vehicle emissions standards. we worked together on black carbon in terms of its impact in the arctic and came to an agreement with secretary of state clinton. canada has moved ahead on coal but i suspect the president will get an agreement on the hill or will proceed with executive action on potentially coal which is behind vehicles is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. on energy security, the president promised during the election, since the election, that he would make united states energy independence from venezuela and the middle east in 10 years.
he meant that promise in 2008. as to the president as being able to achieve both climate change reductions with the programs he has put in place. he is able to achieve energy independence from the middle east and venezuela by looking at his neighborhood, mexico and canada. we see keystone as in the national interests of the united states under the law because it displaces oil from venezuela. >> danielle droitsch. >> i appreciate having the opportunity to talk about the relationship with canada and the united states. it is a long relationship. there is a conversation with in the united states. the united states is focused right now on the conversation on climate.
last year was the hottest year on record. we have been facing some extreme weather. we have seen 50% have lost. 60% of pasture land has been lost. we have seen some of the most extreme hurricanes we have ever seen. one of those was hurricane sandy which cost 130 lives and over $80 billion. this has prompted something internally and the president to look closely at the importance of looking at climate and confronting climate change. as a result, that is having ramifications for what happens in the canada.
canada and the u.s. share of the largest order in the world. we have over $600 billion in trade, 300,000 crossing the border every day. and that is not going to change. sometimes neighbors and friends need to have conversations. i think that is what is happening right now. the two countries are having a tough conversation about the energy future and some of that as a round the keystone pipeline. this pipeline is 800,000 barrels a day. for that reason, it signals a direction for the united states. it is an export pipeline so there is a concern about whether it supports u.s. security.
that is the conversation i hope canadians -- there is an opportunity for both countries to take leadership together and tackle climate change. that is what the president said in the inaugural address. there is an opportunity to look at how both countries can meet the target. there are concerns that canada is not a climate leader. we can talk more about that. but there is opportunity for both countries to tackle climate change, the world a signal that north america is prepared to start looking at these issues. >> john manley, an opening comment.
>> i will start in a different place. i start with the depth and complexity of the relationship between canada and the u.s.. last year, the nobel prize committee awarded the peace prize to the european union, celebrating almost 70 years of peace. we are celebrating 200 years of peace against a long and porous border. we built a relationship. i am not sure i will buy into the analogy of marriage, open or otherwise. we are more like twins separated at birth in some ways. but our parents always liked us best.
whether it is in the economy or energy and other resources, we are in this endeavor together. we share a point of view on almost every issue. the differences tend to be nuanced rather than deep or profound. there are a couple of rules of political life in canada. for the prime minister, one of his two important responsibilities is to manage the relationship with the united states. the other is to preserve national unity. when you look at that, there are two rules. number one, don't get too close to the united states.
rule number two, don't get too far from the united states. various prime ministers have had difficulty managing that balance. i work for prime minister cretin. it was get united nations to agree and we will support it. lots of people in the canada and u.s. said what is he doing, he is preaching the terms of the french. -- breeching the terms of the friendship. many people on both sides of the border are not sure he was wrong about that. some of the prime ministers have been criticized for being too close to the united states. prime minister -- he saw that as something his predecessor did.
he preferred to go golfing. but that was part of staying close to him. maybe there is a big discussion right now about a pipeline i will argue about the way it is cast. i think it is tactically an error for the environmental movement in the united states to be focused on a pipeline. if it is refused, it gives people the notion that we have done what we needed to do. when in fact it does nothing on demand. it reduces demand in the united states. i think we can work around the pipeline issue, recognizing that our relationship is one that stands us together more than a part.
as we see the rise of asia, i think we need to be looking at the north american base upon which we will be able to succeed in the growing asian market both as exporters and producers and customers. >> picking up on the conundrum, agree u.s. ambassador called this the goldilocks conundrum. i think it into recent years, our countries have gotten at about right. i have to disagree that it's gone off the rails. beyond the border initiative --
it has a report card. mutual recognition of air cargo, done, sign the canada u.s. visa sharing agreement, done, pilot project for radio and opera ability, done, joint statement of privacy principles, done. that is not to mention the work being done on regulatory cooperation. meaningful work is being done on that front. the reason i think those two initiatives have made so much progress is because they face a common dramatic event which is what happened to our economy. there is a realization that our countries are interlinked.
we need to climb out of the economical collaborative lee. i want to say one word about the keystone project. climate challenges are urgent. i would also agree with john. focusing on the keystone pipeline does not actually help decrease demand in the united states or do anything to decrease u.s. greenhouse gas emissions. if the oil is getting developed anyway and the u.s. will still be importing and least 3-7 million barrels a day in 2035, there will still be a need for fossil fuels, including those coming from canada. focusing on keystone is a
misplaced focus. >> thank you. >> i want to pick up on the energy dimension. and what is going on throughout america. we are going through a transformation we have never seen in our lifetime. we are finding weaker access to oil and gas and costs that were unthinkable and to the -- invincible in the past three -- that were unthinkable in the past. politicians would talk about that. those of us analysts would say sure, go on. it is now something that may happen in the u.s. since. more likely in the sense of north america. that is one of the things we
need to look at. what will happen in this north american context? we have a real opportunity to have an advantage globally in terms of having access to keep natural gas. also the ability to export oil that will allow us to reduce the payments being made to foreign countries. how do we officially do that? the negotiations we have to the first cannon the u.s. trade agreement. how do we make the border disappear out of that so these markets can optimize themselves in the most efficient manner? we have refineries on the gulf coast of the united states that are very good at defining the type of oil produced in canada. the values it is created is very high.
that is the whole commercial logic behind the keystone pipelines. i would probably disagree with the idea that it is an export pipeline. it is not the same, saying it might be exported as crude from the gulf coast which makes no sense to the producers. we are exporting products now. they would come from crude coming from venezuela. it is important to look at how we improve the efficiency to provide the base system and the economy while we are building this feature towards a low carbon economy. it takes a long time to change over and have a low carbon energy future. if we can make that transformation through efficiency regulations, perhaps put a price on carbon, it would
be a good idea. on the keystone pipeline, this is a battle in the u.s. i do not think too many people thought out canada. it came after the defeat in the senate of any kind of comprehensive legislation. there was nothing to rally all around. this gave an opportunity to rally around a specific project where the was a decision to be made by the secretary of state and the president. the assessment that it does not really matter is a good one, because that was going to get developed. whether now or 10 years from now, as though concentrates greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
on the environmental side, it was held up to much. on the energy security side, the idea that we are creating millions of jobs is also an overweight. -- is also an over-reach. transcanada is the only company that knows how many jobs they will create. the rest is an effort at creating numbers that will please everyone who wants to hear it. it is important keep in mind both sides have tried to make this an iconic type product that would settle both the use when in reality, it is just another pipeline. >> thank you. to bring some structure to the conversation, in terms of dealing with the topics before us, we want to focus on energy and it is hard to divorce them from the environmental or climate change issues. the big issue before us is clearly the pipeline.
gary, the canadian prime minister said a few years ago the approval of the pipeline is a no-brainer. how has it become such headaches? >> the senator from louisiana said also it is a no-brainer because it is displacing oil from venezuela. that is the fundamental issue of the national interests of united states. two years ago when the state department looked at this, the and i waited that canadian oil was 2% higher in ghg's than in venezuelan crude. two years later, it's even more -- even better as a product for displacement.
the point that is missed a lot in the debate here in washington -- this also includes $180,000 -- 150,000 barrels a day. the unintended consequences of blocking the pipeline will be continued sales from venezuela to the united states and i believe the number of trucks and trains has gone from 12% two years ago to 60%. so the emissions are going up with trucks and trains as an unintended consequence of this pipeline not been approved.
i agree with the prime minister and mary landrieu. when you look at it, the venezuelan oil, less dependency on the middle eastern oil, oil on trucks and trains and on the pipeline is deemed to be a lot safer. >> let's open up the conversation. danielle. >> i would like to start with the climate emissions and why is keystone of priority? some of it is a misunderstanding. it is not about one pipeline or one source of climate emissions we're concerned about.
groups like nrtc, we have people working on fuel efficiencies, local communities. many in canada have no idea about the other work. we have an entire campaign for a cleaning up coal powered plants. we are trying to get president obama to adopt new regulations. it is one of the biggest campaigns for our organization. we view the issue as far bigger than the oil domitian's. than the oil emissions. it is about going after all the emissions. united states is the largest carbon emitter. but the united states brings in more oil from canada than any other foreign country. that is growing. the type of oil is more carbon intensive.
this pipeline is a major source of carbon emissions. the conventional wisdom that the oil will be developed anyway, we reject. that is one of the things people need to realize. we believe that right now, canada does not have that opportunity to get their oil out. if he were to look at any industry analyst right now, they are saying in the canadian press that keystone is significant. it is very important to enable the oil industry to expand production. the concern we have is with expansion. and the rapid pace and growth of the industry. in 1995, the industry said will grow to 1.5 million barrels a day.
now we are hearing plans about 9 million barrels a day. that is a concern. >> he said canada's largest for a source of oil -- you said canada is the largest foreign source of oil. >> we need to drive down oil consumption altogether. >> how's that going? >> it is going well. in part because there is a dual addition to regulation. >> fuel the efficiency standards, we negotiated them together. that is the most radical
reduction in ghg's for both countries in the last 30 years. the president and prime minister give very little credit from your membership and environmental for taking that action. i think that is too bad. >> what would it take for china to actually want to take and refine the oil? if the pipeline were built, is china in a position to take it and refine it? >> president significant investment in a tiny refineries. - there has been a significant investment in chinese refineries. it will not take long for them to act on the upgrading equipment needed to do that. now, it is not clear how much they could take. in terms of the pipeline, the thing we are seeing is the reappearance of oil being moved
to market by a lot of methods never imagined. we are taking balkan oil by rail across to the delaware river, transferring. there is enough space in the margins that are available there to do that. there is a proposal to look a railing up to the port in alaska. i would agree that stopping keystone will perhaps slow the development process of the oil sands. but we have to look at the totality of what gets developed over the time frame. i don't see that you're going to limit the amount that it developed over time by stopping one pipeline.
there are many other ways. the point about the work on dealing with climate change in terms of fuel efficiency, there is very important work and have not gotten the same kind of attention that something like taking on the keystone issue would be able to rally around. i think that is why you've seen such a focus in the news for the keystone pipeline. the real guy will work is the -- the real valuable work is the work on fuel-efficient standards. standards.